The transition from middle school to high school is often difficult. The course work is more challenging, the expectations are higher, and good grades are harder to achieve. High school teachers expect their students to assume a more active role in, and assume a greater responsibility for, their education. These changes can be very stressful and overwhelming for your child.
Let your child know that you are aware of the differences between middle school and high school and that you understand the new challenges he/she is facing. Offer your support and encouragement. Listen carefully to your child when he/she expresses his/her feelings and opinions and shares his/her experiences. Being attentive to your child's needs will not only help reduce the stress, but will also help keep the lines of communication between you and your child open. Your understanding and your child's knowledge of that understanding will help make your child more successful in school.
It is important that parents be consistent, reasonable and realistic in the expectations that they have for their child and also in the rules and discipline they establish. It is equally important that both parents share the same expectations for their child and discipline in the same fashion. This consistency is the main ingredient in helping your child develop the self-discipline necessary for academic and personal success.
It is important that parents are involved in every facet of their child's education, but it is equally important that parents allow their child to grow. Part of adolescence is the natural desire to become more independent. That does not mean, however, that your child does not want you to share an interest in their activities. Join the PTA, go to Back to School Night and attend the annual guidance planning conference. If your child is involved in sports, go to their games and cheer them on. If your child participates in our musical program, attend their concerts and applaud their accomplishments. Take a real interest in your child's extra curricular activities. Get to know your child's friends and praise your child's achievements. Your child will appreciate your interest and involvement in his academics and extra curricular activities and you will both benefit from that interest and involvement.