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How to Help Your Teen Overcome High School Transition Jitters?

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Have you ever wondered how most students feel about starting their first year as high school students? Or maybe you remember your first day in high school. How was it? Were you excited or terrified? Did you have any particular expectations or was it just a regular school day for you?

Psychologists say when starting high school most students feel both excited and a little scared. New classmates, new teachers, new subjects, tighter schedules can all be the reasons for anxiety for students who are moving from middle to high school.

Even if your kid doesn’t seem to be worrying too much about this change, you as a parent should expect there will be some sort of an adjustment period during which your teen’s behavior, their lifestyle and habits they will be adapting to the new environment.

To better imagine how your kid is feeling try to remember your first day on a new job. You don’t know where to start and what to do first, you feel uncomfortable talking to your new colleagues, you don’t even know what are other people’s expectations of you! That is pretty much what’s happening to your kid now.

The good news is your involvement can help your kid feel more secure and adapt faster to the new requirements.

First, let’s talk about the signs that can indicate there is a problem:

  • It’s been a few weeks into a new school year and your kid is still nervous about his school stuff.
  • Your child refuses to discuss anything related to school.
  • He or she is not participating in any out-of-school activities such as sports, drama club etc.
  • He or she is not the least bit excited about bringing new friends to your place or visiting them.

So now that you know something is going wrong, here are a few useful tips to show how parents can help make their kids’ transition to high school smooth and painless.

Do a walk-through. Much of the first-day-in-high-school anxiety is usually related to logistics. Thus, for example, your kid might be nervous about having to adjust to a new bus root, finding his or her locker quickly, getting from one class to another in time.

You can help relieve this kind of anxiety by visiting the school before the new semester starts and helping your teen find their locker, classrooms, etc. it is also a good idea to help your student map out their school day to make it more organized.

If your teen’s school has a new student orientation day, go to it, he advises. While they may seem like a waste of time, programs designed for new students can help ease many organizational concerns right off the bat.

Encourage active involvement. High school isn’t just about new people and new subjects, it’s also about new exciting opportunities. This is also the time when your student starts thinking about making important health, leisure and career-related decisions on their own.

Your task is to encourage him or her to join a sport, club or other activities. This is a great way to make new friends and it can definitely ease your student’s way into high school.

Researchers say, teens who are engaged into some kind of extracurricular activities, tend to excel socially and perform better academically. Help your kid get excited about the new wonderful opportunities high school has to offer!
Don’t be pushy. Your student is already stressed out about performing well, so don’t make things worse by reminding him or her about how much harder high school is going to get.

Be supportive and responsive. Don’t push your teen too hard. Let them make their own decisions and come to you if they need help. Once kids are comfortable with their new environment and the new experiences, you can try to have a conversation about setting their priorities and organizing their work effectively.

Listen to your teen. Make yourself available to your kid whenever they need to talk to someone. Early on, they might feel too overwhelmed or stressed and they have to know you are always there and can hear them out.



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