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Supporting Your Teen as the School Year Ends

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Time certainly flies, doesn’t it? It feels like just yesterday was August, and the school year was starting. Now, we’re just weeks away from its conclusion. For many, this marks the end of high school and the onset of the exciting yet uncertain college years. This transition ushers in a new wave of stress, fear, and potential depression as they adjust. How can you support your teen as the school year ends?

The Emotional Landscape of the School Year’s End

Empathy is Understanding Your Teen’s Experience

Pause for a moment and try to empathize with what your teen is experiencing. The structure of school, while comforting to some, brought its fair share of anxiety and stress to nearly every high schooler. With the school year ending, the looming summer could bring feelings of loneliness. While this sounds a bit bleak, let’s not forget our own youth when summer symbolized endless fun, time with friends, baseball, and countless outdoor activities. Despite our jobs, we found joy in the simple things—dating, pizza, burgers, and just being silly. Today, however, teens face a different reality. Dominated by cell phones and social media, they’re bombarded with messages that everyone else is having a better time, leading to feelings of isolation and, potentially, depression.

Engaging Your College-Bound Teen

Conversations That Matter Beyond the Surface

If your teen is college-bound, initiate conversations about the exciting times ahead, yet be attuned to any underlying anxieties about leaving high school and friends behind. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and encourage ongoing dialogue to support your teen.

For others, use this time to discuss end-of-school tests, summer plans, and employment opportunities. Here are a few suggestions to enhance communication:

  • Implement cell-phone-free dinners to encourage open discussions. Discover more on this at www.abrighterday.info under the Resource Tab.
  • Make car rides a time for conversation by making them cell-phone-free.
  • Schedule weekly walks with your teen to chat and understand their feelings.
  • Inquire about their friends, as teens often project their own feelings through discussions about their peers.
  • Be vigilant for any changes in your teen’s behavior, such as social withdrawal, reluctance to engage in activities they once enjoyed, anxiety about the upcoming summer, a lack of interest in the future, increased irritability, changes in sleep patterns, or eating habits.

As the parent of a teen, communication is the number one key to a successful relationship and understanding what is happening behind the curtain of emotions. Please explore our website and article center for more information.

Warm regards,

Elliot

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