Get into the Teen Routine

When it's time to get ready for school, teens need some gentle reminders.

By FamilyTime


By late summer, pre-teens and teenagers may need some parental encouragement to turn their attention to the task of getting ready for school. Your kids will be excited to start a new school year, see their friends, and jump into their favorite activities, but they also will be sorry to see summer go. Transitions are easier for some people than others, and teenagers are no different. 

Making the Transition

A few weeks before school starts, remind your child to write book reports or finish summer reading due during the first week of school.

Unless your teen gets up at the crack of dawn for a summer job, he probably is used to sleeping late in the summer. About a week before school starts, suggest he get up and go to bed a little earlier to re-set his internal clock.

The Student's Environment

Help your teen clear the summer's build-up of clutter from her desk or other home-based work space. Neatness and order make the idea of going back to classes more manageable. The student feels in control.

Your teen may not have cleaned out his backpack since June. Encourage him to do so before the first day of school.(Who knows what lurks in its dark recesses?!)

Returning students should stock up only on basic supplies. They should wait until the first few days of school for most purchases because teaches will have specific requests about notebooks and tools such as calculators.

School-Year Rules

Before school starts, review existing rules and decide with your child if any should be modified or new ones added. Issues for discussion might include:

  • Getting homework done.
  • Texting time and place
  • Friends on school days 
  • Weekday curfews
  • Getting to and from after-school jobs
  • Screen time
  • Bedtimes
  • Family chores
  • Morning routines
  • Packing lunches

Summertime routines and rules tend to be more relaxed than those in place during the school year. Both you and your teen will benefit from a clear understanding of what you expect.

Health Forms
Call early for an appointment for a physical examination if one is needed. By the time your child is ready for middle or high school, the school may not require an annual update of health forms.

Make sure your child has all necessary vaccinations. Fill out any forms your child needs for special medical care.

Provide the school with the names and telephone numbers of family members or friends to call in an emergency. You may not think this is necessary for high school students, but it is. 

Let your teen know you are available to discuss any of his or her concerns or hopes for the coming year. It's going to be a good one!