Back to school tips for the anxious teen
Jan 13, 2020

 ‘Back to School’-itis seems to have a bit of an effect on people. Some kids get excited, others are filled with an impending sense of doom, and parents and caregivers scramble to get uniform and stationery lists ticked off… all the while often juggling kids’ stresses about friendships, classes and fluctuating social status. Phew! Talk about returning back down to earth from our summer breaks with a thud! If this is sounding a little familiar, hopefully some of the 5 tips below might offer some relief. 

1. Return to routine

Get started on reigning in the bedtimes, device use, and regular meal times in the week leading up to the first day of school. Helping to create this routine well before your child is back at school means they will be better rested, hopefully have more stable blood sugars (think concentration, more stable moods and sustained energy!) and firmly established expectations on when and where devices should be used. Iron these out early before homework, extra curricular and friendship dramas hit!

2. Get organised

Ticking off those lists of ‘must haves’ (uniforms, stationery…) is just the beginning. Making sure these are done in plenty of time before heading back to the classroom will help your child feel prepared with one less thing to worry about. More importantly, though, is running through things that your child may be focusing on but not necessarily articulating (or… not have even considered yet!). Have they visited their school before? Do they know where they need to go on the first day? Do they have a friend they could walk or rideshare with to school that morning? Do they need a trial run on their bike to check how long it takes to get there? If in High School, are their subjects and timetables confirmed, or are there further steps required? Have they checked their school emails since the end of last year? All these things can be dealt with through a little forward planning and organisation. 

3. Talk about it!

If your child is getting a little snappy or distant in the lead up to Term 1, ask them if they have anything on their mind they want to talk about. Practice holding space, letting them get it all out. Sometimes we don’t want our worries to be solved by the other person (think how infuriating that can be sometimes when you just want to vent!) – we just want to be heard. Allow your child that option. No need to problem solve or offer an opinion unless it’s requested. Ask before jumping in to help if they want to hear your experiences or thoughts on the matter. Don’t be offended if they don’t; we’ve all been there, and later they may circle back for that advice when things have settled more in their minds.

4. Spend time with friends

Encourage your child to spend time with a school friend or friends before the first day. For some, summer can mean long periods of time without seeing friends which can lead to all sorts of thoughts about social status, waning friendships or the dreaded FOMO. Get a gathering together to break the ice and strengthen bonds between classmates, hopefully reminding them of the good times from last year and that they are all in the same boat with the pre-term jitters. 

5. Aim for a fun, relaxing day the night before school starts

This ties in with getting organised, because as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, nothing gets us flustered more than last minute stressing about things we need to do or have forgotten. Aim for the day before term starts being a fun, relaxing, enjoyable day where the only preparation is a last check before heading to bed. Celebrate your holiday period, take a picnic, head to the beach, watch a movie… whatever floats your boat, but make it a fun one!

Sometimes, we just need a little more than 5 tips. If you think your daughter or the special girl in your life would benefit from my bespoke one-on-one mentoring where we can tackle life’s little worries together, get in touch now for a chat to see how I can be of help.

Lots of love and sparkles x


Back to school time – not always a walk in the park (love a good pun)


Bec is the human behind Rebel Starseeds. She loves being outside, avocados and anything to do with the ocean. She also likes to write a lot, especially about things to do with wellbeing for girls + women, in the hope that she can find help others empowerment and joy from within themselves with a little reconnection, rewilding and rebelling (where necessary!)

About the author.