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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

Got End-of-School Year Anxiety? 3 Tips From a Teen Therapist for Parents and Teens to Beat the Stress

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For a lot of teens, the end of the school year brings a lot of excitement. The transition from school to summer vacation means there’s a lot more time for unstructured playtime with friends, freedom from homework, sleeping in, summer camps, and other fun activities.

But for plenty of teens – and their parents – this transition can feel stressful. Some kids get anxious about unstructured time. Parents and their teens may find themselves at odds when it comes to trying to schedule healthy and fulfilling activities.

Transitions often impact people more than they expect. And if you’re worried about your kid’s higher levels of anxiety or depression during the summer months, you’re not alone. Stress and anxiety are completely normal and valid responses to unknowns and changes. Many kids and parents experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than usual during this time of year.

At Liz Morrison Therapy, we help students and their parents figure out how to navigate the stress and anxiety that can come with the end of the school year with therapy for teens. Here are three tips that help many of our clients have a fun, successful summer – and beat the end-of-school-year stress. 

End-of-School Anxiety: It’s More Common Than You Think

End-of-school anxiety is actually more common than you might think. You and your school-aged child are suddenly facing huge adjustments in schedules, connection, and stimulation. It’s only natural that these adjustments will have an impact on your child’s mental health.

Sudden transitions and changes, even positive ones, can impact people in big ways that might feel surprising. Maybe your kid becomes anxious or depressed during the end of the school year. They may feel much lonelier and without as much purpose when school is out. You might notice they suddenly spend more time alone, bored, and on their phone. 

With less structured things filling their plates, kids might feel suddenly understimulated and bored. They often overuse their screens. They may feel anxious about not knowing how to fill their days. They might be burned out from a long year of being overscheduled and busy.

Teens Finishing High School Have High Stress

And if your child is a high schooler, they may be worried about what’s on the other side of summer. Kids who are graduating or getting closer to graduating high school have a lot to contend with: end-of-year exams, pre-college exams, choosing a university to attend, seeking out appropriate classes, finding work, saying goodbye to their friends before embarking on new adventures, and taking on adult responsibilities while adjusting to college life. This is a lot for anyone to have to deal with and can feel overwhelming for kids.

Between all the changes they’re dealing with internally, plus external stressors like sibling rivalry or other challenging family dynamics, the stress levels can really start to pile up on kids. So how can you help them navigate their stresses and have a healthy, fulfilling summer? Here are three of our favorite tips to get you started. 

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3 Teen Therapist Tips to Help Your Teen Overcome End-of-School-Year Stress and Anxiety

Validate your teen's experience – and offer help and connection.

Your child might feel alone in their experiences, especially if they’re a pre-teen or teen. The emotional and physical changes that come with adolescence can feel hard to navigate. They often feel like nobody understands them or what they’re going through. 

Validate whatever feelings your teen is feeling. You can tell them it’s okay to feel however they feel. Show them it’s safe to have difficult emotions by making a point of normalizing all kinds of emotions in your household.

Offer Your Teen Affirmations

You can offer affirmations like, “I can see how challenging things are in your life, and I’m really proud of you for the way you’re working through them.” Or you can say something like, “I know that transitions can be a struggle, and I’m impressed by how brave you are in handling it. I’m here if you want to talk or work through anything that’s on your mind.”

Offer to help them figure out college logistics or how to get through a tricky friendship hiccup. By offering affirmations and normalizing their feelings, you’re helping them feel connected, teaching them that they’re safe, and helping them realize they can come to you with the problems they face. Building that connection can help them – and you – feel less stressed during a time of big transitions. 


Help your child plan and schedule fun activities.

If your child’s main problem is boredom, apathy can quickly set in to make seeking out fun activities even harder. You can help them curb that boredom and apathy by working together. Help them plan and schedule activities that are fun for them, like attending day camp, joining a summer sports league, or volunteering with the local animal shelter. 

If your child has something that gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment, they are less likely to feel anxious and stressed about summer. Plus, having something they can look forward to is always important.

Just be careful not to overschedule your child. This can lead to additional stress, anxiety, and exhaustion for them. 

Schedule screen-free time.

Teens and kids don’t always realize the impact that phones have on them. Too much screen time causes all sorts of problems for kids and adults alike: mood changes including anxiety and depression, difficulty sleeping, and chronic health conditions.

Scheduling phone-free and screen-free time can be a great way to help your kid go do something healthy and active, spend more time connecting with family and friends, and stop the doom scroll. 

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get them to ditch their phones altogether – cell phones have become common for kids of all ages now – but scheduling screen-free time on certain days, during weekends, or other blocks of time can help the whole family feel better. In order to be effective and feel fair, everyone in the family should join in – that means you, too, Mom and Dad!

Therapy for Teens Can Help You Cope With End-of-School-Year Stress

If you’d like support for yourself and your kids in feeling less stressed and anxious this summer, try therapy for teens

Our therapists help teens who are transitioning to college navigate all the changes. We also help younger children and their parents deal with the summer blues. We’d love to work with you to get to the root of your stresses, find healthy ways to cope, and support you in making positive changes to your life.

Feel free to get in touch with us for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We can answer any questions you have, see whether we’re a good fit, and start working toward a better future today.

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Help Your Teen Begin Managing Their End-Of-School Year Stress & Anxiety With Therapy for Teens in New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and anywhere in New York State!

Empower your teen to thrive through the end of the school year with professional support at Liz Morrison Therapy tailored to their needs. Take the first step towards relieving their anxiety and stress by seeking therapy for teens. Invest in their well-being and provide them with the tools they need to navigate this challenging time with confidence and resilience. Follow these three simple steps to get started:

1. Contact us to schedule an appointment for Therapy for Teens

2. Begin meeting with a skilled teen therapist

3. Start coping with stress & anxiety!

Other Services Offered at Liz Morrison Therapy

At Liz Morrison Therapy, we offer services for the whole family. So in addition to helping your teen overcome and cope with anxiety and stress with therapy for teens, our services also include Parenting Support for those looking to create healthy relationships with their children to help them live their best lives, Young Adult Therapy for individuals looking for support, guidance, and real-world strategies to help them deal with their struggles, and Anxiety Therapy for those wanting to cope with their anxiety in healthy ways. For more about us check out our Blogs and FAQs


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