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Supporting Your Teen Through The End of The School Year

As the end of the school year approaches, many teens may experience a range of emotions, from relief and excitement to anxiety and stress. As a parent, it’s essential to be aware of these emotions and offer your support to help your child navigate this transition.


Relief and Freedom: The end of the school year can be a welcome respite from the daily routine and stress of academic responsibilities. Your teen may feel a sense of liberation and excitement for the summer ahead. You may find they sleep a lot more the first few days as they let go of the cognitive demands of school.

Anxiety and Uncertainty: The transition to summer can also bring uncertainty about future plans, such as summer away from friends, camps, or travel. Your teen may feel anxious about what’s to come.

Guilt and Regret: As the school year winds down, your teen may start to reflect on their academic performance, relationships, and accomplishments. They may feel guilty about things they didn’t accomplish or regret choices they made. This might come out as moodiness or anger.

Lack of Structure: The end of the school year can mean a significant change in routine, which can be unsettling for some teens. They may struggle with the freedom to make their own choices and schedule.


Listen and Validate: Allow your teen to express their emotions and concerns without judgment. Listen actively and validate their feelings, acknowledging that their emotions are normal. Validating emotions will not make them worse – you are not adding to the emotion. It will help the motion lose its intensity and move on. 

Encourage Reflection: Encourage your teen to reflect on their experiences, both positive and negative. This can help them process their emotions and gain valuable insights for future growth.

Create a Summer Plan: Help your teen develop a plan for the summer, including goals, activities, and responsibilities. This can help alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of direction. Some teens are great at making plans and filling their time while others might need help with this – brainstorming a list of possible activities for their unscheduled time will help them make choices and reduce their online/screen time.

Maintain Structure: Try to establish a daily routine that provides some structure, even if it’s not as rigid as the school year schedule. Have discussions before summer starts about expectations and how time will be spent and come to clear agreements. This can help your teen adjust to the change and maintain a sense of responsibility. 

Encourage Self-Care: Remind your teen to prioritize self-care, including exercise, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep. These habits can help manage stress and anxiety. Starting as you mean to go is much easier than having to go back and adjust.

Foster Open Communication: Encourage open communication about plans, concerns or worries your teen may have. Be approachable and available to discuss their feelings and concerns. Again, this can be best done by listening in a non-judgmental way and asking more questions than lecturing or telling.

Additional Tips:

Keep Perspective: Remember that your teen’s feelings are normal and temporary. Try not to take their emotions personally or internalize their stress.

Be Patient: Recognize that your teen may need time to adjust to the transition. Be patient and understanding as they navigate this change.

Offer Support: Let your teen know that you’re there to support them, even if they don’t always need or want it.

By being aware of the emotional challenges your teen may face during the end of the school year and offering supportive strategies, you can help them navigate this transition with ease and confidence. (Micheline Foss with AI support)