Monday, September 27, 2021

Four tips for a successful school year

Erin Payne

By Erin Payne, MS, LPC 

School is back in session, and with class starting back, students (and their parents!) can face many different challenges. Here are a few tips for parents to help their kids be successful this year:

  1. Make homework or studying time a habit. Set a time every day to complete homework or study that works with your student’s schedule. This may mean doing work as soon as they get home or allowing them time to unwind from the school day before jumping into work. Set a time when your child tends to have more energy. Also, help your child in creating a homework environment free of distractions, like television or their phones. If your student tends to  struggle with maintaining productivity or focus when doing their work, schedule in regular breaks during homework time (for example, 30 minutes of work followed by a 10-minute break).
  2. Create a morning routine. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. While some students may prefer to hit snooze a few extra times before getting up, I recommend that students give themselves more time to wake up. Create a morning routine that includes a balanced breakfast, which will help maintain energy throughout the school day.
  3. Know your resources. Schools offer a variety of services and opportunities to help their students succeed. Look into the services that your child’s school offers and encourage your child to advocate for themselves at school, like talking to their teachers, coaches, or school counselor for support.
  4. Be aware of signs of potential problems. Sometimes what seems like normal school stress, can be a sign of something else, like depression or anxiety. Refusing to go to school, consistent late or uncomplete work, withdrawal from friends and activities, or sudden attitudinal changes, are all signs of bigger underlying issues. If you suspect your child is showing signs of psychological distress, please reach out for help from your family doctor or a mental health professional.

Erin Crandall Payne, MS, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor at NextGen Counseling in Flower Mound. She has been in practice for 9 years and specializes in working with older children, teens, and young adults. Erin will be co-facilitating a self-esteem group for teens on September 7, 2019. For more information about this upcoming group, please contact NextGen Counseling at 940-228-2171 or visit

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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