Every kid dreams of the day they finally make it to high school. Along with that dream comes fear and anxiety because it’s a big change. Shoot, it can drive a parent bonkers too. High school is like sending them off to a pre-adult world. It’s when you have to acknowledge that your child is finally growing up and will shortly be entering the world as an adult and that’s when your child has to realize it as well which can be a shock. Here are a few ways to help them transition smoothly.
- Don’t Overload Them Before School Starts – Summer can be a really fun time where we have a lot planned. However, make sure you new high school student isn’t bogged down with too many things on their schedule before the first big day. Allow them to be as relaxed as possible in order to take on this new challenge.
- Take Them for a Walk-Through – Switching to high school often means switching to a new building and faculty. If this is the case, call the school and see when would be a good private time to take your child for a walk through the school in order to familiarize them with the new building. Allow them to ask questions of the secretary or faculty if they’re available. Try to make this private so they don’t’ feel embarrassed.
- Don’t Remind Them – Your child is well aware of the challenges that high school will bring, this is where most of the stress comes from. Don’t constantly remind them of it. Choose one moment to have a private talk with them about what to expect and then let it go after that. Even when they first start high school, if they’re struggling, simply help them and refrain from reminding them they need to work harder.
- Let Them Know Asking for Help Isn’t Weak – Many kids feel like they’re a failure if they have to ask for help. Let me them know you’re A-OK with them asking for help even if it’s not just from you. Tell them to not be afraid to ask the teacher or faculty for help if need be. That includes everything, not just schoolwork. This information would best be presented in that private talk about how hard high school is going to be.
- Allow Your Student to Get Involved – Encourage your student to be involved in extracurricular activities. Not only with this allow them to feel more connected and a part of something (which reduces stress and insecurities) but it also keeps them busy and out of trouble.
- Talk to Them About Peer Pressure – One major difference that’s always noticeable is how much the peer pressure takes a jump up in high school. Not that it isn’t there in other grades but high school seems to be the worst spot for it. In your private talk with your child, make them aware of how much the peer pressure is going to rise and what that peer pressure will be for. Sex, drugs, and alcohol become a very strong topic and draw in high school, so help them realize they don’t need that junk to fit in and that they will have an even brighter future if they don’t let those things drag them down.
- Check Over Their Schedule – Schedules are a common thing in high school. Just like any schedule, there can be inconsistencies on them. Once you receive their schedule in the mail, be sure to read over it and make sure it’s all in line so it’s one last snag your child has to run into on their first day.
- Hel Them Be Prepared Early – Help your child gather school supplies, clothes, whatever they may need for their new adventure but don’t do it last minute. Allow them to be prepared and organized ahead of time so their stress and worry is reduced and covered. Give them a buffer zone of time to not have to be worrying about their new transition.