I can’t believe that a new school year will be starting next month….and more importantly, that my daughter, Necco, will be a senior! In just over a week from now, she is scheduled to finish up her Invisalign treatment….just in time for the start of her senior year! It has been quite the journey, and it’s drastic to see the difference in Necco over the last 15 months – not just in her looks, but in her confidence.
Since my kids are older now and each have several first days of school under their belts, the first day of school presents a different challenge. Our back to school prep is more focused on being emotionally prepared versus having a backpack full of new school supplies. The newly revised Unbrace Teen Confidence page and guide are a great resource for tweens, teens, and their parents to get ready for the new school year with confidence.
Here are a few tips from my family to help older kids get ready for the new school year.
Keep the lines of communication open – Set the stage for the new school year with an open line of communication between parent and teen. Talk about feelings and expectations ahead of time and address any concerns instead of letting them fester.
Address social media habits and perceptions – Social media can be a huge factor in teen confidence (or lack of it) since teens are so quick to give and receive judgement based on a social media post. Don’t forget that it’s ok to set guidelines and restrictions and monitor use on your teen’s devices. Bullying is never ok, and it’s important to keep an eye on your teen’s accounts to make sure there is no bullying or destructive behavior being given or received.
Be an example of calm and confidence – I remember when my kids were little, I noticed that my little ones would be on their crabbiest, moodiest behavior when I was feeling the worst (tired, impatient, critical, etc). Guess what? Teens are just the same. They feed off our moods. A calm, confident attitude from mom and dad will help them have a good, positive attitude as they start the school year.
Be prepared – Have clothes and school supplies ready well before the morning of the first day of school. If they’re attending a new school this year, have them check out the school during the summer, if possible. The more they know about what to expect, the easier it is to be confident.
Smile more – Smiling is such a simple exercise, but it makes a world of difference, both for the giver and for the receiver of the smile. As a shy teen myself many moons ago, I didn’t like the idea of talking to people I didn’t know yet, but I was always willing to smile. It takes such a small amount of effort but it goes a long way.
Be the friend you would like to have – I tell my kids that it’s they ever question what they should do or how they should act, that they should simply do what they would like for someone else to do if they were on the other side. Confidence comes when teens know they’re making good choices and helping others.
Check out what these middle school tweens had to say about self confidence, how their smile effects themselves and others, and how social media effects how they feel about themselves and others.
Questions? Ask away! I’ll be sharing more information in the coming months about Necco’s journey with Invisalign and my time on the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board. Please feel free to ask me any questions – here, privately, on Facebook, wherever!
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