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How to prep your teen for the new school year

Back to school for teens

Here’s how to manage everything from workload to emotions in Term 1

It’s back to school time for your teen. HOORAY! You made it. But now you may be wondering how to help them settle back in after such a long break. We’ve created the below cheatsheet to get you both back on track and ready to face whatever this term (and beyond) throws at you.

1. Make sure they’ve got the basics sorted

Ensure you teen has the required stationery, textbooks and uniform, and double check travel routes/arrangements for before and after school. Check in with how they’re feeling about going back to school and starting a new year (or let them know you’re available to chat about this when they’re ready).

As a parent, make sure you’re following the school on social media so you don’t miss any updates and check you have or still have access to your school’s online portal. Joining the parents WhatsApp group for your child’s class/year (if they have one) can also be helpful to remain in the know.

Oh, and make sure they set their alarm clocks for a decent time in the morning, allowing for plenty of time to get ready then travel to school!


RELATED: Help! How do I support my teen through exams?


2. Attend any info nights or parent/teacher conferences

Keep an eye out for any communication from your child’s school about info nights throughout the term and school year – these could be about anything from study skills and subject selection to future career paths. When parent/teacher conferences come around, it’s really important to attend. You’ll gain you insights into how your child is tracking, what they might be struggling with and areas they can improve. You could (gently) use these as conversation starters for our next point…

3. Ask them what they need from you

Yep, we know. Teens can be tough nuts to crack at times. The best thing to do is to have open lines of communication and when the right moment presents itself, ask them what you can do to help as they adjust to the new school year. This could be:

  • Helping them out with a subject they’re finding difficult
  • Offering exam preparation/nerves advice
  • Sharing time management tips so they can manage their workload
  • Sourcing external help like a tutoring service or occupational therapist
  • Lending an ear for them to vent
  • Giving them more space when they need it/ask for it

It’s crucial to let them know you’re there to support them, even if they don’t want to take you up on your offer assistance right away. They’ll know you care and might surprise you when they ask for help later in the term.


RELATED: How to help you teen with maths


4. Keep up to date with STEM careers

As a parent or carer, you are one of the biggest influencers on your child’s future career choice. Informing yourself about the jobs of tomorrow can mean your child is equipped with the knowledge and inspiration they need to forge a rewarding and successful career!

We highly recommend signing up to our parents e-newsletter (if you haven’t already!) to be the first to hear about new tertiary qualifications and degrees, career paths linked to your child’s interests, events to attend, and resources and advice to help guide them to success. It hits inboxes once a month and is an effective and easy way to stay across everything, especially if you’re time-poor.

You and your teen can also follow us on socials. You’ll find us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, LinkedIn and YouTube.


RELATED: How to have a career conversation with your child


5. Encourage downtime/rest

Adjusting back to school life can be exhausting, no matter how old your child is. Give them lots of opportunities to blow off steam at after-school activities like sport or extra time with their hobbies and interests. School work (and homework) is important, but so is rest and recreation. Speaking of rest, talk to them about the benefits of a good night’s sleep and limiting screen time before bed too.

For more tips and tricks, head on over to the Careers with STEM Parents Portal

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