With children all around the country going back to school or college this week or next, I thought it would be the ideal time to dip into the psychology behind helping your teenager feel confident this term…
Thanks to the The Tight Spot for allowing me to use their photograph.
While teenagers might feel the need to express themselves through their clothing, now that they’re back in school, what they wear may have a marked effect on their performance. A study on smart dress vs casual attire showed that ‘students wearing more formal clothing showed stronger inclinations towards abstract processing’. So simply having a fresh new uniform might make all the difference in helping them to feel prepared to return to school and achieve their goals.
This Morning TV psychologist Emma Kenny has been fronting a campaign with Dr Beckmann that encourages professional dress in school, showing that a crisp white shirt has a psychological effect that boosts performance in the classfroom. “A crisp, clean uniform can be so influential that scientists found students performed better when wearing a smart white lab coat, than without. Simply believing that these kinds of clothes are worn by intelligent people made them score higher on their tests.”
The current advice from the World Health Organisation is that children aged 12 and over should wear face coverings in school. Teenagers may already be worrying about returning to school so having the right face masks will help them to feel more secure and protected.
The important thing here is to have multiple face coverings at hand and a low-cost way to stock up is by buying masks in multi-packs. Just like the school uniform, masks will need to be washed between uses, so it’s a good idea to have at least five masks so that they can wear a fresh one every school day.
Sure, kids will have their school exercise books and sketchbooks to work in during class but, for a psychological boost, why not treat them to a swish pen and personalised journal to kick off the new term? Having a moleskine notebook and quality pen of their own means they’ll always have somewhere to make important notes and come up with their own study plans.
I’ve previously written about why journaling is beneficial for mental health after being gifted a journal by Pen Heaven, and the most important reason is that it helps to maintain mental clarity by clearing the mind of worries and doubts. Creating mental whitespace can help teens to deal with overwhelm, something they may be feeling more than usual upon returning to school or college. A lovely notebook embossed with their intitials could be the ideal place for teenagers to declutter their mind and explore their creativity.
Let me know what other ideas you have for supporting your teenager as they return to school or college this term. I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below and I hope these ideas have helped 🙂
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