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Teen Matters

Simple Strategies to Help your Child Transition to High School

May 1st, 2013

Submitted by Edmonton Public Schools

With graduation season on the horizon, Grade 9 students are busy preparing for an exciting celebration to mark the end of their junior high experience.

In a few short months, your child will be entering a new learning environment. It is important to be aware of the challenges your child may go through when making the transition to high school. It can be a stressful time but there are ways parents can help ease their child’s anxieties.

Here are some simple strategies parents can use to help their child through the transition:

Prepare them for the change

There are some key differences between junior high and high school: credit system, heavier workload, more classes to choose from and an emphasis on planning for post-secondary or the workforce. Discuss these changes throughout the summer. Remind your child that the majority of students go through these changes, successfully—and they will, too.

Expect an adjustment period

Your child may feel overwhelmed with the changes they’ll face in high school. Adjusting to a new environment can be a stressful time that can last for the first several weeks or months of school. Be understanding and supportive of your child during this time while they settle into their high school routine. 

Know what is happening

Become acquainted with your child's school and classroom schedule. The school’s website or newsletter can be a great way to stay up to date on upcoming events, trips and exams.

Encourage independence

It is important for your child to learn how to solve his or her own problems. Encourage your child to use school resources such as teachers, a guidance counsellor or the school handbook to understand how to resolve a situation. Allow your child to make mistakes.

Encourage your child

High school offers students the opportunity to find friends with similar interests to theirs. Encourage your child to get involved with school activities such as sports teams, drama or science clubs. This is a great way to meet new people, build skills and uncover hidden talents.

Respect your child

High school is a young adult's opportunity to grow and establish an identity through the exploration of ideas, values and interests. Respect your child's ideas and opinions. Communicate with them like an adult when you are having family discussions. Keep an open mind and share stories of your own high school experience with them.

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