The first day of high school can be a flurry of emotions for your kids. New school. New experiences. And new freedom to gain. It’s both exciting and frightening. If you have a teen with first-day jitters at home, here are a few ways you can help them prepare for a smooth start to school.
1) Prepare an “emergency kit” for girls. If you have a daughter, you’ll want to help her be prepared in case that time of the month catches her off guard at school. Put together an “emergency pack” to take to school that includes pads, clean underwear, pain medication and chocolate (of course). I put all these bits inconspicuously hidden in a pencil case, so no one at school would guess the real contents.
2) First time with a locker? Make sure your kid practices and knows how to lock and unlock the locker. With first-day jitters, you don’t want any obstacles that might set them off into hormonal anxiety.
3) Do a dress rehearsal. Go to the school the day before and tell your kid to find each of his or her classrooms. Setting them up for success means not having them wander around the school hallways lost on the first day of school.
4) Know the transportation route. If they’re taking the bus or city transportation, make sure they know their route and what time they need to be on the road. If you’re doing the drop off, prepare yourself to NOT get a good-bye kiss at drop-off.
5) Social media refresher. By now, your kiddo has been on social media for a while. Remind them of your rules and expectations around social media usage. Be sure to be in that space yourself so you can understand what they are talking about and you can keep an eye on things. As I like to tell my teens: “Be very careful – what goes on social media today, stays on Google forever!”
High school can be a tough time for parents too. Remember, whatever your teens do or say, try not to take it personally. Sometimes their mouths get the better of them, but know that in a few years they’re going to finally appreciate you and thank you for putting up with them during the teen years. Breathe deeply and keep your cool. You got through your own round of the teen years, you’ll survive this round too!
Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children’s label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on Twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie