Help Teens Prepare Emotionally for the New School Year

Back-to-school season can be a stress trigger for teens.

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What Should You Say?

Ideally parents are not coming out of the blue with questions like, “How was school today? Any thoughts of ending your own life?” That’s a bit jarring. The idea is to set a routine of checking in with the young person and giving them vocabulary around around their emotions along the way. It can be as simple as “How are you settling in with Freshman year?” Or maybe “Anything about middle school have you feeling a bit lost?” Open the conversation.

What Should You Look For?

Mandy’s son was an angsty teen. He hid in his room and long sleeves no matter the weather. It wasn’t until later in therapy that Mandy learned his chosen wardrobe was to hide his self-inflicted cuts.

Bonnie is an award-winning freelance writer and Communications Director for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Find her on social media @WriterBonnie

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