As a teen counselor, it is not unusual to explore topics related to the stress of school transitions in teen therapy. This stress, if unprepared, can trigger things like teen depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety and other challenges.
Junior high and high school are a large part of your teenager's life, and it is an essential part of their transition into adulthood. As a parent, there are many things you can do to help this part of their life run smoothly.
These school transitions can be stressful for parents too. But what a great opportunity to teach life skills and transitions are a part of life. As a parent, these skills passed down to your teenager in a conscientious way will serve them the rest of their lives.
6 Tips from a Teen Therapist: Helping Your Teen in School Transitions
As your teen gets older, your role as a parent transitions from solely a disciplinarian and a nurturer to a guide and mentor. Outlined below are some tips on how you can help your teenager get the most out of school.
1. Introduce Them to Speed Reading
This is a skill that will help your teenager study more quickly and help those who plan to transition to college. Also, the amount of reading material they will be assigned in this phase of life is significantly more than when they were younger.
Teens have many more resources to learn how to speed read, including apps. In addition, there are more traditional online courses and books you can purchase that won't break the bank or take up too much time. Encourage your teenager to try a few and decide on the method that works best for them.
2. Teaching Them to Focus
There is less requirement to entirely focus on class material in primary school, as there is in secondary school. Yet, learning to focus is crucial as they enter their teen years.
Help your teenager figure out how to remove distractions when experiencing difficulty focusing. Possible distractions include the dreaded but necessary smartphone. Other distractions may include smartwatches, music, or other electronic devices.
Another part of focusing is teaching them how to wind down before starting their homework. If your teen has a busy schedule or you know they had a rough day, encourage them to take time to decompress before beginning a new task.
3. Encourage Regular Study Time
Your teenager will need to study regularly if they do not want to become stressed because they leave everything until the last minute. It is far more beneficial if they build the skill of setting aside a certain amount of time each day to study.
This might be a few minutes per day or three hours per day. What is essential is not the amount of time but your teen's consistency.
4. Encourage Supportive Friendships
The Mayo Clinic discusses the importance of peer relationships during the teen years. Peers can positively or negatively impact all of us and eventually steer us in one direction over another. For example, if your teenager chooses friends who inspire them to build their character and encourage them to work hard in life in a balanced way, your teen will generally walk down the same path. But, if your teenager has more friends who are less goal-directed, this can rub off on your teen.
5. Encourage Good Nutrition
Nutrition plays a vital role in giving the brain its power. Although junk food is a standard part of the life of most teens, teach your teenager to keep the principal amount of their food intake healthy. Consult with your teen's pediatrician or a nutritionist if your teen is a "selective" eater or if their diet is lacking in a significant way.
6. Encourage a Daily Routine
Our days can change at any time, but there is a benefit to keeping a standard routine. Encourage your teenager to establish standard meal/snack times and bedtimes.
Their body will align with this routine and send signals as a reminder. For example, if your teen misses their stand 12:00p lunch, their tummy will send a growling reminder it's time to eat!
You will be your teenager's most significant source of support as they transition out of primary school. Use opportunities to share your wisdom with them on how to live it well. With your efforts, your teenager will be sure to glean a lot from their junior high and high school years.
Teen Therapy at Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Katy, Tx & Houston
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our therapists specialize in teen counseling. We provide individual teen therapy, family counseling, and group therapy to help the teens and families we work with.
School stress can trigger things like depression and anxiety. If your teen is struggling with teen depression or teen anxiety, it can block access to their innate talents, gifts, and abilities. Academics can suffer as a result.
We can help. Katy Teen & Family Counseling is easy to get to and is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. If you are ready to start teen counseling, family therapy, or group therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Get the support that you and your teen may need during a difficult time
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to it's effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri is also a supervisor providing mentoring and supervision to up and coming therapists. She has taken ownership to ensure the new therapists are therapists highly trained and qualified to provide therapy to others.
Jheri also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges teens and young adults face who are bi-racial. Identity, acceptance, and embracing a mixed heritage are some of the challenges she helps teens and young adults manage.