Family Magazine

And Now It Begins....Again

By Joanigeltman @joanigeltman

I know just how the kids feel. After having the summer off from teaching, I get back in gear next Tuesday.  I feel groggy, anxious, excited, and impatient, with just a touch of dread, knowing that class prep, exam and paper grading in combination with blog writing, speaking engagements and parent coaching is all in front of me!
The most fun your teen is having now is picking out just the right outfit to make just the right new impression for this new school year. Thinking about academics....not so much. You on the other hand are obsessed with who their new teachers are, what are their expectations of the students, how many clubs/athletic teams your kids will sign up for,  and are your teens using the agenda books the schools so generously gave to your teen to stay organized? You are full of goals for your teen: honor roll, good citizen of the year, most valuable player, early to bed early to rise, etc., etc., etc. They on the other hand, are wondering who their best friend will be, will they find a fun party to go to on the weekend, worries that they won't make the team, get a part in the school play, or win election as a class officer. Homework, grades, pleasing teachers, getting to bed early enough to get up on time are not taking up much space in the old noggin.
Asking a thousand questions at the end of each school day will yield scant results, and instead your teen will probably reward you with more of the "leave me alone" responses. Your teen is overwhelmed as this new year starts. As a new middle schooler, high schooler, 10th grader or whatever "grader" there are a new things that are expected of him/her. Be more mature, grades really matter, college is getting closer, what if no one likes me, what if I can't get a boy/girl friend are just a few of the things that consume him/her. Asking a thousand questions just makes them feel more overwhelmed. Be patient, you will get the answers to those questions, just one at a time, and in a more casual way. When you bring in their laundry maybe say "hey so whats the deal with tryouts, or that English teacher, or History class? Pick one area of interest, and in a non-desperate tone, ask your question.
But here is the thing, they do need your help in setting limits on themselves as it relates to homework and sleep. They have had a summer of excess, too much sleep, unlimited friend access,  and texting/video games/facebook time. Like all addictions, any limitations will make them a little crazy, but crazy they must get, cause limitations they must have.

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