Easing the Transition Back to School

Transitioning back to school after an epic summer break can be… a lot. To minimize this stress, it’s important for teens to build healthy routines at the very start of the school year. This way, teens get into a rhythm that will help them avoid starting up new habits after they are already in full swing balancing homework, extracurricular activities, and managing friendly and familial obligations. Below are some tips that may help you help your teen get into the swing of their school year.

Ensure they get outside time

It may be tempting to persuade your teenager to complete their homework as soon as they get home from school so they don’t forget or procrastinate. However, encouraging them to spend some time outside may be more beneficial than asking them to immediately hit the books. Sunlight has been found to be a natural stress reliever by organically boosting serotonin levels. Additionally, taking brief study breaks has been shown to be physically and mentally recharging.

Encourage them to do homework right away, after outside time

While outside time is integral to teens’ overall health and well-being, it is still smart to prioritize homework in a teen’s after-school routine. Homework should come directly after some brief outside time. That way, they can get it out of the way early in the evening so they can spend the remainder enjoying themselves as well as eliminate any possibility of procrastinating or forgetting to do homework.

Help them establish a bedtime routine

Researchers at McGill University and Douglas Mental Health Institute found that students with improved sleep quality had better scholastic performance, most notably in math and language classes. For teens to get a good night’s sleep, they should start with a comprehensive bedtime routine. “A bedtime routine helps the brain ‘turn off’ and the body slow down and prepare for sleep,” explains Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, clinical psychologist and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The earlier your teen gets to sleep, the more time their body will have to rest and recalibrate.

Pro Tip: Help your teen start routines before school starts (if possible) or as early in the year as you can

Your teen may moan and groan and say they don’t want to go to bed early the last couple days of summer. But it is your job as the parent to convey that it’s in their best interest to do so. Explain how going to bed earlier a few days before school starts will make waking up for the first day of school much easier as it will help their body get into the rhythm of a routine. Gradually helping to ween teens off more flexible summer schedules and reintroducing routines of the school year will help them ease back into the process.

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