September 18, 2014 —
It’s that time of year again: back-to-school time! As our teens transition back into the hustle and bustle of the new school year, it’s important that we stay in tune with what’s going on in their lives. Soon they will become pre-occupied with classes, homework, extracurricular activities and hanging out with friends. As we all know, a new school year can overwhelm teens and may cause anxiety and/or stress that could potentially lead to risky behaviors, such as abusing cough medicine or underage drinking.
In order to prevent our teens from engaging in such behaviors, and to help them deal with the ups and downs of a new school year, we need to be proactive. However, we cannot do this alone. Keeping our teens safe is a community effort. Since it’s impossible to be with our teens 24/7, we must check in with everyone in our teen’s life to get a full understanding of what our teens are doing. Below are some examples of how we can check in with some key players in our teens’ lives:
- Set up a parent-teacher conference: When you meet with your teen’s teachers, be sure to ask about how your teen has been interacting with his or her peers, in addition to asking about how your teen is fairing academically. Teachers spend a lot of time with your teen, so they will be able to let you know if something seems off that you should later address as his or her parent.
- Attend your teen’s sports games, band concerts and other extracurricular activities: By being present at your teen’s activities, you will be able to continue to foster relationships with the adults supervising your teen outside of the classroom. They, too, will be able to give you insight into what is going on in your teen’s life.
- Talk to the parents of your teen’s friends: As parents, our main priority is the safety and well-being of our teens. Set up time with the parents of your teen’s friends to discuss how all of your teens are dealing with the back-to-school transition.
We can’t do this alone. By identifying and checking in with the key adults in your teen’s life, you will be able to stay in the know. Do you have any other ideas about how to check in with everyone in your teen’s life this school year? Please feel free to share them in the comments below!
Parents and Teens