Helping Your Child Transition from Middle School to High School Part I
Transitioning from middle school to high school can be an overwhelming experience for some tweens and teens. Depending on whether middle school was two or three grade levels, your child established a routine, developed friendships, and was comfortable in a smaller school environment.
Since your teen is going to be exposed to a larger number of students, a bigger school, and other new situations, it is important you help them with the transition, even if they refuse your help. Most teens think they can handle everything on their own when starting high school, but, as parents, you still need to be assertive and provide assistance where you can, to ensure a smooth transition for your child.
In this two-part blog series, we will review 10 different ways you can help your child with the transition from middle school to high school. The first five are presented below:
Help Your Child Prepare for High School
Any subjects where your child did poorly should be reviewed over the summer to ensure they will be at the level needed when he or she starts high school. This will help alleviate stress, because your child will be prepared academically.
Listen to Your Child
If your child comes to you and tells you that he or she is feeling anxious, nervous, or scared about starting high school, this is normal. Take the time to listen and make it clear that you will be there for support.
Schedule a Visit to the High School
Most high schools offer freshman or new student orientation programs. Find out when these are, and do not miss them. If your child’s high school does not have an orientation program, schedule a visit to the high school with your child. During the visit, review their schedule for accuracy, help them find their locker, and help them map out the best classroom route. This will help your child immensely on the first day of high school, since things will be familiar.
Encourage Your Child to Get Involved
When children get involved in extracurricular activities, such as band, sports, and various clubs, it not only gives your child something to do after school, but it also helps him or her socialize and feel a sense of belonging.
Watch for Warning Signs
If your child starts complaining about headaches, feeling nauseous, not sleeping, or having a general dislike of going to school, something is wrong. Take the time to get to the root of the issue. In cases where your child feels completely overwhelmed and scared, and expresses that he or she cannot handle high school, there are therapeutic high schools in various areas which are better equipped to manage and provide support to students who simply feel out of place in a traditional high school setting.
Remember to check out Part II of this blog series for five more useful suggestions to help with the transition to high school.
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