How to Get Your Teen Excited to Go Back to School

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When summer was finally coming to an end and school was starting up again, I was always a mixture of excited and apprehensive. A new school year meant more classes, but it also meant getting to hang out with friends in those classes and fun extracurricular activities. It can be difficult to get a teenager who is just not excited about school to actually care about a new school year. There are, however, a few ways that can effectively get even the most reluctant teen excited for school.

1. Buy new clothes.

One of the best things about the new school year was a new school wardrobe. Spending a little bit of money to get a few new shirt and pants that they can feel great it as they walk the halls of school is a fun way to get them excited to actually get up and get dressed for school. This can be as effective for teenage guys as it is for girls. While they might not act as excited to get a new shirt, they’ll like having something brand new and fashionable to wear.

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2. Celebrate the end of summer.

Many teens will feel like their summer has flow past and that they barely got a chance to enjoy it. Giving summer the sendoff it deserves is a great way to close that chapter of your teen’s year and start a new school year. Maybe have them invite their friends over for one last barbecue in the backyard or go on one last day trip before their afternoons are filled with homework and extracurricular activities.

3. Send them off right.

They might not be excited about actually going to school, but they can at least be excited about the breakfast they eat before they get on the bus. Nothing can make a teenager more excited to get out bed than a tasty, homemade breakfast waiting for them. Whether you fry up some pancakes or some waffles or make a match of cinnamon (or even just buy them their favorite sugary cereal), and they will be more willing to roll out of bed and get ready for school. Plus, then they’ll have a full stomach and be able to focus on their classes.

4. Get the lay of the land.

If you have a teenager who is moving from middle school or junior high into high school, you might be able to take the edge of the nerves off by going up to campus a few days early and walking around. Most campuses will be open during this time, as teachers try to get their classrooms ready for the onslaught of students. Some schools even have an orientation day, where they help students find their classes and help them get to know a new school before it is actually their first day. Even just walking around can get them excited to start a school year.

5. Talk about their anxiety or worries.

Many kids are reluctant to go back to school because they worry they will not be able to keep up with their classes. Maybe they struggle with math and they are taking a difficult math class this year. Getting your teen to voice their anxiety and to talk about what is worrying them and then talking about how you are going to handle the things that are worrying can make a difficult school year less daunting. This includes classes, but might extend to problems with friends, not liking a specific teacher, not being excited about their extra activities, bullies, etc.

6. Make a special dinner.

The first day of school is always the hardest. It’s an adjustment, even if your teen is just headed back to the same high school. After a summer of relatively few responsibilities, they suddenly have the majority of their waking hours dominated by classes and homework again. A special dinner that celebrates their return to school and acknowledges how difficult the first day can be is a great way to get your teen hyped for a return to school.

7. Take them school supply shopping.

Not every teenager is going to be excited about buying school supplies, but many will love buying new pencils, pens, notebooks, binders. Even if they don’t revel in the supplies themselves, they will still like being able to pick out things that they actually like, so they have supplies that they will actually use. You can find school supplies in just about every color and style, so it should be easy to find something that your teen wants to show off in classes.

8. Make a deal with them.

Some parents will never set up any kind of reward system to encourage their kids to get good grades. You might see it as bribery. However, some parents might see the value in talking to your teen about what concerns they have about the coming year and then making a deal with them. What kind of deal? If, for example, your teen often slacks off in math, you might offer them ten dollars for every test they bring home on which they earned a B or higher. Even a small reward is often enough to help a teen start to reverse bad habits. Instead of continuing to ignore math because they don’t like doing it, they will be training themselves to push ahead, even if the material is boring or difficult.

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