AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – We are nearing the start of another school year, and that means getting kids and teens ready to balance home life and school life once again.

Belinda Palacios, Executive Director of the Amarillo Children’s Home has some ways to support teens while getting them ready for back to school.

· Be their biggest fan. Attendance and support for their teens is key. Seeing a parent in the stands/ audience/ sideline/ meeting/ etc. is reassuring for teens and can bring much joy.

· Welcome friends over. Being welcoming and enjoying the company of these kids will forever makes family memories.

· Ask about their day. This seems so basic but goes a long way with teens. Being asked about their day/ how they feel indicates caring and interested.

· Surprise with gifts. These can be monetary, but they can also be things have no cost to them at all; big or small. Notes, favorite meal/dessert, etc. can makes a teens whole day.

· Give advice. Teens will usually see as if they are disinterested in the advice you give them however deep down, they cherish it. Being open/honest with them is important and having a “safe” place to go with questions/ concerns creates a relationship where open dialogue can occur.

· Make family dinners. Time together is so important without distractions… turn off the tv, no electronics and actually talking to each other. This does not have to be every night but have a designated night(s) for this to occur. Decide as a family on the night and stick to it.

· Approve of them. Teens want your approval. Being able to provide praise and let them know you are proud of them consistently important.

· Tell them you love them. Yes, teens need to hear it. Do not rely on “well they know I love them”, you need to say it and say it often. Especially in times of conflict and trouble.

· Have one on one time with them. The is key to having a healthy relationship with your kids. Doing funs things together helps them to feel individually valued. This is also a way to really get to know your child.