Back to School Tips for Parents of Teenagers


Are you about to send your teenager back to school in the next few days or weeks? No doubt one of you is excited by the prospect and the other may well be dreading it. Sleeping until noon and eating well past midnight are the thrills of summer but clearly taboo during the school year.  Take a two pronged approach for the successful start of the school year. Plan to get your teenager both in physical and mental shape to start the first day of classes. Follow these suggestions from guidance counselors, teachers and professional educators to kick off the year on the right foot.

Shifting from a lazy summer schedule to the rigors of a high school schedule won’t happen overnight. Plan to start at least one week prior to the start of school. Bedtime, lights out and screens off should be early enough to allow for at least nine hours of sleep. Begin waking your teen up each morning close to the time they would need to in order to prepare for the school day and leave on time for classes. Head to the grocery together to stock up on breakfast and lunch favorites for the start of school. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and select from the deals offered by The Children’s Place for back to school deals on lunchboxes.

If your teen is an athlete, scholar or engaged in the arts, these pursuits certainly enrich the overall high school experience. They also demand exceptional time management skills. Juggling after school commitments and a heavy course load can be challenging for some young teens. One option is to make their commitment contingent upon satisfactory grades. Spend time with your teen at the dinner table and remind them how important kindness and respect towards fellow students and teachers is. Let them know it’s not cool to turn a blind eye when someone is being disrespected.

Finally, limit screen time during the school week. Have a rule for cell phone use during the time that is designated for homework. It is not possible to continuously shift the brain between information in a text book and texts and successfully absorb the information. While you might receive initial pushback with cell phone usage restrictions, this is in the best interest of your teen and their grades. Rest assured they will survive. Best of luck for a great school year!