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It’s that time again for your teen to switch gears from summer fun to the more structured rhythm of high school schedules.

And with that switch comes stress about the pressures of tougher academic coursework, about fitting in, or the unpredictability of what a new school year brings.

As a parent, you’re in a prime position to help your high schooler navigate these choppy waters. Here are six tips to help your teen overcome back-to-school stress:

1. Establish a Routine

A consistent routine fosters a sense of security and predictability, two critical stress relievers. Before the school year begins, work with your teen to establish a reliable daily schedule, including time for homework, extracurricular activities, family time, and importantly, downtime for relaxation.

2. Promote Healthy Habits

Nutrition, exercise, and sleep significantly impact stress levels. Encourage your teenager to maintain a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of sleep. These habits will not only help manage stress but also contribute to their overall well-being and academic success.

3. Encourage Open Communication

Your teen might be reluctant to talk about their stress. Foster an open, non-judgmental space for conversations. Let them know that it’s okay to feel anxious and that you’re always available for a chat, without offering immediate solutions or dismissals. Sometimes, being heard is all that’s needed.

Pro tip: have your teen’s favorite treats in the pantry and hang around the kitchen when they generally show up for snacks. They might be more open to talking if it feels casual and is accompanied by something delicious.

4. Teach Stress Management Techniques

Equip your teen with tools to handle stress independently. This can range from deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness techniques to hobbies that help them unwind. Encourage them to try different methods and adopt what works best for them.

5. Help Them Set Realistic Goals

High school brings an array of challenges that can seem overwhelming. Work with your teen to set achievable academic and personal goals. Emphasize the value of progress over perfection, encouraging them to strive for their best, not someone else’s.

6. Promote a Healthy Perspective

Reinforce the fact that everyone faces challenges and that they’re not alone in their struggles. Remind them that high school is just one phase of their life journey, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. It’s how they learn and grow.

Conclusion

These six strategies aren’t just for when school starts but can be integrated into your teen’s life year-round to mitigate stress. While you play a significant role, remember that your teenager is the one navigating their high school journey. Provide them with the tools, guidance, and support they need, but also give them room to develop resilience and problem-solving skills of their own.

In your supportive role, remember to take care of your well-being. A relaxed, well-nourished parent is far better equipped to guide their teenager through stressful periods. So, remember to breathe, stay balanced, and take time for self-care. By modeling healthy habits and maintaining a positive outlook, you’ll not only be looking out for your own well-being but also setting a powerful example for your teen. After all, the back-to-school journey is one you’re both navigating together – and with mutual support, it’s a journey that can lead to tremendous growth and success.

Preparing your teen for a new school year is not an easy task. But you don’t have to navigate these waters alone! Our expert counselors are on hand to help your teen overcome back-to-school stress, manage their time effectively, excel in their academics, and plan for a successful college future. Don’t hesitate – ensure a stress-free, successful school year for your teen with our professional guidance. Click the link below to get started. 🎓📘🎒

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About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

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