1) Make it easy for your child to navigate high school: Unlike many middle schools, high schools may require students to walk back and forth between classes throughout the day. Alleviate your child’s anxiety by helping them navigate the school’s layout and learn the new environment. Get your kid’s schedule before school starts and walk through it with him or her before classes start. Additionally, if a school offers freshman orientation programs, encourage your child to attend and explore the building afterward. This will reduce some of the uneasiness he or she will experience when beginning high school.
2) Be enthusiastic: Be your child’s cheerleader and discuss the exciting events and extracurricular activities that high school offers. For example, sports teams, clubs, and other organizations are likely available. Getting involved in such activities will help your child meet new friends, build a resume, and transition into high school easily.
3) Discuss some of the changes: Don’t take your child’s worries lightly during the transition. Instead, help him or her embrace the change by listening openly to what he or she is going through, how he or she feels about being around older kids, the difficulties of homework assignments, and the trouble he or she may have making new friends. Emphasize that there will be people—such teachers, students, and counselors—to help during the adjustment.
4) Talk about the importance of high school: Introduce the idea of college to your child when they are a high school freshman. This will help your child think ahead about schools he or she would like to attend, as well as consider admittance, SATs, and scholarships. However, don’t go too far and pressure or frighten your child, but simply ensure that he or she understands the importance of high school from the start.
5) Encourage your child to talk to a current high school student: It will probably be easier for a teenager to talk to another, older teenager than to his or her parents. If you know a high school student who you feel would be a great influence on your kid, ask him or her to speak to your child about high school in order to advise him or her about the experience.
Follow the 5 tips above to help your child transition from middle to high school, and you’ll experience a confident teen ready to succeed in high school and beyond.