“Transitioning into high school can create a lot of stress for students. There are so many physical and emotional changes children are experiencing during this time in their lives that making the move to a new school may seem overwhelming at times.
As parents, the most important thing that we can do is to be available for our children without being obtrusive, judgmental, or overbearing. Their need for privacy may seem at times secretive, but oftentimes it is just their way of dealing with and processing all the new things that have been thrown their way.
Most children enter high school around the age of 14. There is a tremendous difference in the physical characteristics and emotional development in a child of that age compared to their high school peers who may be 18. Recognizing those difference can help better prepare children for all the things that they may be subjected to in high school.
Children entering high school will not only be introduced to new and unfamiliar academic material, but to a lot of things such as drugs, alcohol, and sex. Although a lot of children have been told of such things, they will become much more prevalent in a setting, such as high school, where children may be either talking about or actually participating in these behaviors. Preparing your child beforehand about what they will experience is important. Peer pressure is an extremely powerful thing, so having a good, solid foundation concerning these issues is vital.
A change in peer groups can also have an impact on children during these years. It is important for parents to become familiar with who their child is hanging around with, both in and out of school. Allowing your child to invite new friends over for a fun outing or activity is the perfect opportunity for parents to meet and observe their child’s new peers without necessarily being right in the center of what they are doing.
It is not necessary to suddenly change from being your child’s parent to their friend in order to find out what is going on in their world. It is imperative to let your child know that you are always available to listen to their questions, concerns, or complaints. Children still need their parents during this age, but very few will ever admit to that fact. Being available without being intrusive will ensure that parents know what is going on without being overbearing.
Eventually our children will reach adulthood, and having a solid foundation will empower them with the confidence, self assurance, and knowledge on which they can build upon. Instilling in our children the knowledge about everything they may experience during this time and how to deal with it will give a child more confidence needed to deal with events as they arise. Letting children know that you are always available reassures them that no matter what happens, parents do understand and they do care, and no matter what problem life throws their way, parents will always be their to help them to find the best solutions and answers.”