Happy New Year. Yesterday was a busy day, a record number of calls from parents anticipating troubles in the new year. Perhaps there was "trouble in River City" over the holiday week. Maybe some incidents of drinking or drugs threw you for a loop, or realizing that the last 3 weeks of the term are closing in and there are assignments still unfinished, or maybe you are smack in the middle of the final weeks of college apps, and you and your senior are feeling the anxiety of deadlines. Take a deep breath. Getting all crazy, and starting back on the nagging train will not help. Best to just ease into it slowly, that's what your teen will need to do.
Rather than starting right in with the "did you finish/start/do your__________________? How about using this "I Get It" moment. "Hey honey, what are you dreading most about going back to school?" Just a simple question like that let's your teen know that you get how hard it is to transition back to the daily grind. A little empathy goes a long way. And when they walk in the door after school today, rather than getting right back into the multitude of questions that have plagued you all day about homework, projects and meetings with guidance counselors, give them some space. The first day back pretty much sucks. How many of you were dreading the rush today of alarm clocks, lunches, carpools and that's just the kids stuff, then add to that your work, and your deadlines. See, you and your kids are not all that different. Misery LOVES company!