Back to School Transitions: Tips for Entering High School

Going into high school is a huge change for a lot of students. Not only is their educational and social life changing, they are experiencing a great deal of personal changes in the coming months and years.

One thing you can do as a parent is build a relationship of trust and open communication. Many kids will begin pulling away from parent/child relationships and growing closer to their peers. You have the opportunity to grow your relationship positively by being open while also giving them space and privacy. Let them know they can always come to you. Listen to their concerns and maintain an interest in what is going on in their life.

Here are a few tips on how to manage this exciting transition and potentially stressful time as a parent.

Encourage them to step outside their comfort zone. Students entering high school come from numerous schools from all over the region. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people. Encourage them to welcome others into their circle of friends. It could mean a lot to individuals who don’t have an established group of friends at their new school.

Avoid judgement of personal and lifestyle choices. They might begin to dress differently, act differently, and hang out with different friends. You want to carefully approach how you discuss their choices. Certain choices such as adopting “strange” clothing can be just a phase. You want to avoid putting up potential communication barriers with your child if they feel they are being judged. This is a sensitive time when they are trying to figure out who they are as a person.

Clearly communicate boundaries and expectations. As they mature into adolescence they have an opportunity to earn more responsibility and freedom. Those newly earned freedoms still require some boundaries. Establishing rules and expectations ahead of time and ensuring there is an understanding of those expectations helps in reducing conflict.

Encourage them to get involved in clubs and athletics. Not only is this a great way for them to meet friends with mutual interests, but it also begins to build out their experience and resume. So much learning takes place outside of the classroom. Participating in those extracurricular activities can assist in building self-esteem and team work skills while building their knowledge and skills in specialized areas.

Don’t overload their schedule. It’s tempting to get your kids involved in every possible activity, sports team, music lessons, etc. They also need time to just socialize, or even decompress by themselves. The time demands for high school students can be quite strenuous so a school-life balance is important.

“The Digital Talk” – As a parent there are a lot of tough conversations to have. One that parents have to deal with now that wasn’t a concern in their youth is the topic of posting online and the potential consequences of certain activity. It is critical to communicate the risks of sharing or posting certain photos, text messages or posts online. At a younger age they may not understand the ramifications of posting and sharing certain things that could impact future employment opportunities as well as their personal reputations. There is also risk of bullying from things that are shared between friends. It is best to assume once it is online, it is there forever, for anyone to see.

Consider device monitoring software and parental control apps. This choice will be different in every family and you may have a different stance on what level of privacy you want to give your child at different ages. Some parents want to know everything that is happening under their roof and want to keep a close eye on their child’s communication. There are lots of options for apps that block content, control screen time or monitor GPS location.

Consider Student Accident Insurance. New environments, activities and situations introduce new risk and having Student Accident Insurance provides greater peace of mind. Accidents can introduce financial burdens during an already stressful time. Feel secure knowing your family is protected from the financial impact if your child is involved in an accident.
We offer a variety of plans to suit every family’s needs. Explore available plans here.