Easing Transitions for Your Teen



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This week has been all about studying for my daughter, and getting used to her load of homework, for her three college classes. She is adjusting much faster than I am to her new routine, lol!



Yes, they have lockers at college!  One of these pictures is from a volunteer project that they hosted for the freshmen.    

Although, my teen's transition is going very well, it got me thinking about how we can support teens, as they take on new experiences.  And how can we do that without making them feel like kid? 


When they are little, it can be easier, as we can give our support more directly.  We help our kids adjust to new things, such as the new babysitter, a new legos class, making friends, losing a friend who moves away, or moving to a new church, etc.  


It's so important, to our teens, that we not give them the message that they can't do it themselves.


So here are eight ideas that I came up with.  Are any of them your favorites, too?  Some of these things are helping with my transition as a mom, too.  The first one's my favorite.


1. Build in time with Nature




I am always looking for ways to build in nature study, on the way to the store, buying supplies, etc.  My teen and I don't have time for long nature road trips together anymore, but we can take time to notice things, the sun on the leaves, all the fall colors, the clouds, the moon and stars from our deck.......  

So we have been enjoying shorter nature road trips together...still so special and beautiful to do.  I have added below, some of the pictures that I took on these short trips.


2. Set out a few old favorites

A favorite book, a special card, can really make a difference.





3. Leave out a treat


Putting a favorite candy bar or snack in a basket, in their room..




4.  Being there when they naturally share

 Avoiding the "How was your day?" approach, was key for us....But when my teen would naturally begin sharing..I was right there with her, and just put my stuff aside. The words may not come again naturally.......this has helped a lot for us, too.
 




5.  Making use of old routines


Routines seem to help so many of us.  My routine has changed, too, of course, so I am trying to build in little things from our old routine, for myself as well..... such as cooking dinner with my daughter, one night a week, like we always used to do.  With our homeschooled teens, being gone a lot during the day, can be such a big change.  So anything from our former routine may help....It's is such a natural signal of safety and calmness.  

Stopping by our favorite pizza place, making an old favorite for dinner, and even having dinner at the same time as we used to, has helped all of us in my family.  My teen even said that she missed her old chore routine.



6.  Comparing new experiences to old

My teen found that none of her old friends were going to the college that she was going to.  That meant going into a new environment, and not knowing anyone.  Of course, most of the other kids were in the same boat.  

It seemed to help to remind her of how she had dealt with this same situation in the past.  I mentioned her Youth and Government activity that she started in 9th grade.  When she began in that group, she also didn't know anyone.  But soon she was running for secretary!  Similarities can really help.  I look for these for myself, too.



7.  Encourage fun!

Fun helps to build us up!  I look for fun activities for my family, and for myself, too.  For me, I am looking at volunteering at our local MOPS group, one that just started in my town.  I also am encouraging my daughter to build in the fun at college, and check out the clubs there, faith communities, etc.  She is way ahead of me on this!

8.  Encourage rest
   
Teens may tend to think that they have no limits.  But new college students can really be set up for illness, and infections, with all the stress of starting out as a freshman.  So I am looking to build in  rest, quiet time, and prayer, for myself, and suggesting these, too... I enjoy doing some quiet time activities as a family, watching movies, or reading together, so important for our homeschooled kids, who have done so much as a family.  That is such a benefit for us parents, too.




Nurturing our teen's spirits is so important, as they venture forth, and for us moms, who are supporting them, and adjusting ourselves as we explore new things for us, too.

What are your favorite ways to support your teen? 

 Can any of these ideas be adapted for kids who are away at college? Thanks for stopping by and I love reading your comments!



Have you seen my book on college yet?


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Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy

Betsy is mom to her now college junior, whom she homeschooled from day one.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting


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2 comments:

  1. These are great tips for helping your teen transition!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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