Although starting high school can be an exciting time for some teenagers, others might find it to be a stressful change and feel some anxiety about this new chapter in their lives. Knowing that they have a safe space where they can address any concerns they might have can greatly help teens overcome their worries and it could set a tone for open communication with parents in the long run.
High School – A New and Challenging Environment
Many teens might start to feel overwhelmed when thinking about starting a new high school. Going to a new place full of new peers and different teachers is a prospect that takes a bit of adjustment. They will have to learn to navigate a different and larger building and find their place in this new social and academic setting. They’re likely to experience a shift in classroom rules, teacher expectations, and an increased load of schoolwork. It may become more difficult for them to balance school, extracurricular activities, friends, and self-care. Parents can help!
Every Parent Wants to Help
Every parent has felt that emotion since the first time they took their child to kindergarten – the challenge of letting your child go somewhere where you can’t be by their side. Knowing that your teen has to go through this adjustment to a new high school environment and a new set of obligations, you likely want to help in any way possible. However, most of the experiences and wisdom we had hoped to share are likely obsolete. But, there are still ways to help a teen go through this new experience.
Maintaining Open and Honest Communication
As children grow up to become teenagers, their way of communicating, especially with parents and caregivers, is likely to change. While talking to your child used to be easy, talking to a teen might become more frustrating and difficult, as they tend to close off. Making sure that they know you are paying attention and care about everything they have to say could help those communication lines open up. It can be comforting to your teen if you simply acknowledge that their transition to high school is a difficult step. Sharing your own experiences and pointing out instances in the past where your child handled change well can help you connect and encourage them.
Discussing School-Life Wellness
As they start high school, it’s a good time to talk to your teens about managing a varying set of responsibilities and pointing out the importance of self-care. If this is something you excel at, you can share tips and pointers. If it’s something you struggle with, you could undertake the challenge of developing a better system together. It’s important to talk to them openly about getting organized, time management, and prioritizing as well as the value of quality sleep, recreational activities, and forming relationships.
Creating Coping Strategies and Seeking Out Help
We all need strategies that help us cope with stress, a heavy workload, and everyday life. It can be encouraging to talk to your teen about good coping strategies they’ve successfully used before or consider new ones together. Accepting and understanding the importance of mental health is important. Sometimes, a teen might need more help or insight than a parent can give, and helping them gain access to academic support or a mental health professional can be extremely beneficial.