Talk it Through
A conversation with a teenager? I know, it sounds absurd. They act like they don’t want to talk about anything, but in reality, they want to talk so bad they can’t stand it. They just don’t know how to verbalize their emotions—they might not even know how to recognize the emotions they’re feeling. So instead, they have angry outbursts, they pull away, and they try to manage their feelings alone.
If you notice any changes in your child, take them out for some special one-on-one time. Go for dinner, go for a snow cone, take a drive, and let them notice that you notice! Knowing that their parents are actively pursuing them can boost their confidence more than anything.
Meet New People
If your son or daughter wants to go out for a new sport or is transferring to a new school and a new team, it’s completely normal that their nerves would start kicking in right around now. A new season is right around the corner and they’ll have to face new peers, new coaches, and a new location.
Take them up to the school to get accustomed to the football field, the pool, the gym, and all of the places they’ll soon spend most of their time. If possible, arrange a meeting with their prospective coach. Maybe they’ll even have the opportunity to get acquainted with some of their future teammates.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If their nerves revolve around an extracurricular activity, like going out for the football team, practice with them. Look online for game footage of their school, practice drills at the school practice field, break in new cleats, lift weights, and help them walk into tryouts with confidence that they’ve done all they can to achieve their goal.
A new school year can be daunting for kids. The fear of the unknown is real. Make sure you play an active role in their life—talk with them, practice with them, and make introductions that will put their mind at ease.