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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Back-To-School Boot Camp

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It is that time again - school is starting or will be starting soon. You can make the transition a little smoother by starting a week early to get those school-related habits back into your lives.

Schedule
It is time to start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, or with teenagers, sometimes it means just getting them up and out of the house earlier and after a few days they drop off earlier - due to sheer exhaustion. Remember teenagers need 9 - 10 hours of sleep a night. If they are not getting it, try to make some changes in your family schedule so that they can start.

Organization
Is their locker stocked? Are their binders set up? Do they have PE clothes and shoes that fit? Is there a clear place on their desk or the kitchen table where they can do their homework? Have you talked about how they will get to and from school, practice, classes, appointments?

Who makes lunches and what goes into them? Do they need to do morning chores? Who makes breakfast and what are the options? Do your kids need to have their clothes laid out and everything packed in their backpacks near the front door before they go to bed at night? You might start practicing that.

Expectations
Have you taken some time and talked about the expectations you have for your child this academic year? Is it their freshman year and you just want them to "get a grip" on the high school work load, is it their sophomore year and you expect strong grades before they start driving, is it their junior year when grades might really matter? You may have some really clear expectations, but unless you share them with your teen, they may not share you thoughts.

Good luck and have a great school year!

Photo credit: eschipul
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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