Preparing Your Teenage Daughter For The New School Year And Beyond
Sep 01, 2017
You blinked. Summer is over. What happened to all of those intentions to have a chat with your daughter / niece or other important young woman in your life? That talk about the next development stage of her life. That all so important discussion about where she is going in life.
The last few weeks flew by, and all too often these conversations are missed. Young women end up figuring it out as they go. Inevitably making some mistakes along the way.
StrutCamp is here for you if you want to arm her with some tools that can guide her through the next few steps. It’s not too late to make a difference!
The new school year is upon us! Do you feel relieved that life is returning to normal? Routines come back into play and things will start to run more smoothly!
Most teenage girls will feel the same way, but the transition from summer holiday back to college or school can be tiring. As a parent or guardian, there are things that you can do to balance her energy levels and make the whole process that much less painful.
Sleep is a fundamental need for all humans, and getting enough hours of shut eye every evening is essential. Your daughter’s brain will be able to function better if she has adequate sleep - and this will have an impact on many things. It will improve her ability to study effectively as well as manage her emotions, and increase her general feeling of well-being.
Eating a healthy balanced diet will also be a huge benefit to her energy levels. While it may too late to demand that she eats all of her peas, you are still the parent, and can help your daughter to consume nutritious foods most of the time. Sugar crashes can contribute greatly to feelings of fatigue and listlessness.
Teenage girls that are getting enough rest and energy from a good diet will have the energy to move their bodies. This pays huge dividends, as an active lifestyle results in boosted levels of serotonin, a stronger body and increased confidence. Encourage her to take part in activities that she enjoys.
It may seem strange that we are mentioning playing before we even mention college work. But in order to maintain healthy, balanced energy levels, there must be time carved out for recreation. It is important that your daughter values her ‘me-time’ as self-care is essential for well-being.
Teach your daughter that her time is precious, and must be invested wisely each and every day in order to enjoy greater rewards from life. We each have a finite number of hours and amount of energy that we can use from morning to night. In order to gain the most from each moment, time must be planned and scheduled.
Now that we have established that energy and time are the most important fundamental factors of success in a new school year, let’s take a look at how to avoid wasting precious minutes at school.
You can help your daughter to be prepared by planning the logistics of each day at school or college. If she is moving into a new college, it is useful to visit or look at maps to help her to become familiar with the physical layout of the school.
If you can find out the lesson plan in advance this will also be helpful. Plans should be in place to cover the journey to and from the establishment, as well as actually getting around the building and timings of each day.
We also suggest taking time with your daughter to investigate the resources that are available to her, so that no opportunities are missed.
Lay The Foundations
The next layer is for her to set personal foundations for success. This includes brainstorming her individual goals for the coming weeks, months and years. Goal setting can help to shape a path towards an end objective.
Fortifying the right attitude is important from the start, as first impressions stick, and rectifying initial misrepresentations can be tricky.
Encourage your daughter to start as she means to go on, by being prepared for each lesson / day / situation, as far as possible.
This means being punctual and organised. Your daughter should have a plan in place for completing work required during class and completing homework in a designated place. Correct stationary should be ready to use to prevent any unnecessary barriers to learning.
The final key in laying the foundations, is to explain the importance of being focused and mindful in each moment. This will allow her work hard and create work to her best possible standards. Reducing procrastination means more time for leisure and building relationships.
Being back at school or college means seeing old friends again as well as making new ones. Building strong relationships with peers, family and teachers will be invaluable to your daughter as she continues to develop. Here are our suggestions to help her navigate human interactions and connections.
Treat Peers Well
Sure, not everyone is going to be best friends, and we all have differences. But it is important to instill in her the importance of treating peers with respect and courtesy.
We know that bullying is wrong, but it can be easier to ignore unkind things that go on at school. Demonstrate the confidence to stand up for what you believe to be right, speak up for those who may not be able to do so for themselves and show your daughter how to behave as a part of a healthy community.
Treat everyone with kindness, regardless of stature, wealth, gender, race or orientation. Your daughter will learn more from this than any conversation you have on the subject.
Being polite and respectful to teachers can make for a school year of success. Even if your daughter disagrees with a particular teacher’s approach, never encourage her to challenge rudely. Such a situation can be a useful lesson for handling tricky conversations.
Choose Friends Wisely
Encourage your daughter to choose her friends based on more than just their popularity or brand of shoes! School friends can bring richness to daily life, or they can create a world of stress and drama. Suggest that your daughter avoids needless hassles between peer groups, by looking for quality connections.
Be Present and Honest
Life can be enriched and simplified enormously by these two things. If she makes an effort to be aware of her surroundings, and to be truthful about how she feels and how she acts, the important young woman in your life will typically find herself in the right place at the right time. Opportunities will present themselves because she is in the right space to notice and accept them.
The Bottom Line
Teenage girls tend to look as though they have everything sorted. Usually, the adults that love them are the very adults that they want to become independent from - at least in some small way. So while she may not appear to want your help when preparing to return to school or college, there is a lot that you can do to help - without holding her hand and hindering her decision making.
Supporting her through the areas of energy, logistics, goal setting and relationships, you can help her to discover her true preferences and goals, without forcing her into a mould that doesn’t fit.
Gaining confidence in these key areas will not only set her up for a new year of school but also for years to come.