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31 August 2017

Back To Cool

Growing up, the marketing slogan that I used to hate was called “back to cool,” as a way to get teens on board with leaving their summer activities to return to school. It’s a tough sell, getting kids and teens back to school from a summer of fun, but there are a few things families can do to help ease the transition.

  1. As a parent, be mindful that the first few weeks of any transition can be stressful. New schedules, new responsibilities and sometimes depending on the ages of your children, new social situations, can all be stressful. Help your teen problem-solve any areas causing stress right off the bat, like a complicated academic schedule or suddenly finding themselves in too many school extracurricular activities. Teens like to try and solve problems on their own, so let them. Teens are more likely to reach out when they want help or support, and then parents can assist with any issues that come up.
  2. Go ahead and talk about family vacations months in advance. It’s nice to have something to look forward to and to remind your teen when they’re struggling that a break is right around the corner! Go ahead and put on the calendar any holiday-related activities, spring trips, college visits for older teens or summer trips.
  3. Be flexible with the transition back to your family’s school-year schedule. It takes most people about 2 weeks to transition to a new routine, so allow for some grace if it’s difficult for your teen to transition fully back to an earlier curfew or more restrictions on their social events.
  4. Use weekly family time to keep doing ‘summertime’ activities–hang out in a park, go to a state fair or stay up late on the weekends stargazing. Most schools begin in August and the weather can still be ‘summer’ weather for months into the school year! Doing fun, outdoor activities as a family continues to build quality family time and doesn’t end the summer fun once school starts back!

Source: Grow Counseling, Sarah (Brookings) Connor, LPC

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