The importance of parent involvement in a child’s life during the teen years is undeniable. While adolescents want independence and time with friends, they continue to depend on the care and guidance of their parents. The transition from middle to high school can be a stressful time with many uncertainties. Unfortunately, many parents are less involved in their child’s education during these years because their child is more independent and has multiple teachers to keep in touch with.
Taking time to get involved in your child’s education can greatly influence his or her success in school and in life. When parents work together with their child to help him or her navigate the changes from middle to high school, the result is a confident teen ready to try new experiences, develop new friendships and set high expectations for success.
Here are a few tips that could help your child transition from middle to high school. They’re so easy to implement, you can try a few at your family dinner table tonight!
• Attend planning meetings for choosing high school courses with your child.
• Ask your child about her goals for high school and after high school. Listen.
• Help your child set high and realistic goals.
• Tell your child about your hopes for his future.
• Ask the school for information and a school handbook prior to the beginning of the year. This should be provided in your home language. Read this information and talk about it with your child.
• Check out the school Web site.
• Ask about opportunities for students to shadow a high school student.
• Attend orientations and open house events.
• Visit the school building with your child before the school year begins to help her become familiar with the new building.
• Talk with your child about what clubs, teams or other activities he can join at school.
• Encourage your child to develop relationships with other students with similar interests.
• Talk with other parents and students about their experiences in this school.
• Ask open-ended questions like, “How’s it going?” or “What have you been learning?”
• Make comments like, “You seem upset. What happened?” Then listen.
• Expect your child’s transition to be successful. Remember the adjustment will take time. Your positive outlook can help your child; let him know you are confident in his ability to do well.
Source: Ohio Department of Education, www.ode.state.oh.us