Summer vacation is over. It’s time to refocus, set your schedule and get back on track with pursuing your educational plan.
You may be headed to high school, college or trade school. Either way, it’s time to take care of business. Playtime is over.
You may have been hanging out late during the week. You may have been staying up all night on Xbox or binge watching “The Walking Dead.” Those activities will be replaced with a new structured academic schedule of earlier bed times, trips to the library, study groups and online research.
I know! Exciting stuff, huh?
Parents are just as excited when school starts for a different reason. We get to send our youngsters away for five days a week. It’s not that we don’t love them to pieces, but most parents around this time are fresh out of nerves as far as dealing with their teens.
Summer is a challenging time for parents. We have to be concerned with where to send the kids during the day while we are at work. They will not be hanging around the house unsupervised all day, every day. So we break out the checkbook and break ourselves sending them to summer camp, basketball camp, football camp, boot camp or anywhere that will take them for at least eight hours per day.
I was upset that my son was not recommended for summer school by his teachers. I had to be reminded that that was a good thing. During the summer, you have to at least try to make it a rewarding time by way of family vacation or a camping trip.
School shopping for clothes and supplies is always a challenge, especially if you are dealing with teenager. Trying to satisfy the fashion trends of today’s youth is a very tall order. They are very particular about what they wear. I thought a T-shirt was a T-shirt, but no. It has to be a certain length and a special brand or it won’t work for them.
I have given up shopping for my teenage daughter. To avoid a lot of stress, an elevated blood pressure and a bad attitude, I just set a budget, give her the money and let her do the shopping. She may unwisely spend $200 on one outfit but she will be pleased.
Yes, if you are a parent, things are now back to normal. Now that school has begun, you can send them to bed at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. or midnight just to make sure they are getting that recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep.
For most households the routine is: After school, check the homework, have dinner, spend an hour of leisure time, then it’s time for bed. As part of the parenthood creed, we need to find some quality time within that routine to connect with our children by way of talking with them and not at them. Remember, there is a time to correct and a time to connect.
Develop a working relationship with their teachers. We now have so many means to communicate with teachers through emails, cellphones or text messages. The world of parent-teacher communication has changed dramatically. Now you can find out how your child’s day was before he or she even gets home from school.
To all parents and students, good luck and have a very productive school year. Remember, playtime is over.
Deon Price is an author and youth life skills coach who lives in Fairfield. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/youthgeneration.