The school year is officially starting. This can be a truly crazy time and a big adjustment for the whole family. There is just so much going on!
My question for you is this . . .
Does your teenager have what he needs to be successful this year?
Here are three important ingredients to include in a recipe for a successful school year.
1. Good Physical & Mental Health
One of the most important factors for academic success is good physical and mental health.
It is very hard to perform in school when your teenager is not getting enough quality sleep, good food and exercise. Being overwhelmed with stress or anxiety also makes learning more or less impossible.
The constant presence of smartphones, fast food and energy drinks certainly make it more challenging for teens to take good care of themselves.
They can also lead to some pretty bad habits.
There is no doubt that good self-care leads to good mental health, including less stress and anxiety.
This may be an ongoing battle in your house. I know that most teenagers are not terribly interested in self-improvement. 🙂
No judgement here, but I would encourage you to support your teen in developing good habits this year.
Even small changes can make a big difference.
2. Setting Realistic Goals
One of the most important things that I do with my teenage clients is set manageable goals and find creative ways to achieve them. Goal setting is important in business life, home life and academic life.
Consider taking the time to sit down with your teenager and talk about his goals for the school year. Write them out together. Ask how you can best support him in reaching his goals.
Try to avoid giving advice. Just listen and ask good questions that will help him think things through.
With the right amount of intention and support this school year can be much better than last year!
3. Emotional Support
Along with setting achievable goals, it is important that your teenager feels like he has the support he needs to face his social, emotional and academic challenges.
Having strong family relationships, good friends and other supportive adults involved in his life can make a huge difference.
Does your teenager know where to go when he needs emotional support?
If you are not sure ask him this question, “Who do you feel comfortable talking to when things in your life get hard?” If the answer is “I don’t know” or “I don’t have anyone to talk to” that may be something to be concerned about.
Counseling and teen support groups can be excellent resources when your teenager is stressed, anxious or struggling to cope.
This is one reason why I offer several support groups in my counseling practice. This includes groups for middle school boys, high school boys and high school girls as well.
I sincerely hope that you and your family have a fantastic school year!