Transitioning to high school can be a time of mixed emotions for many teens, and parents can provide a safe place to discuss their concerns, says Lindsey Jaber.
A professor specializing in educational psychology and school-based mental health in the UWindsor Faculty of Education, she argues in an article published Monday in the Conversation that taking the time to talk with your teen about starting high school will set the stage for ongoing, open communication.
Dr. Jaber provides several suggestions for helping teens make a successful transition:
- Keep the lines of communication open. However you engage with your teen, they must know that you care and are listening to what they say.
- Remind them it takes time to adjust to big changes. Sometimes just acknowledging that the transition to high school is a significant change can be comforting for your teen.
- Talk with them about school-life wellness. This is a great time to talk about how you manage your many roles and responsibilities, either as a model or as a cautionary example.
- Identify coping strategies. It can be helpful to review past successful strategies with your teen.
- If your teen is struggling, help them find the right help. Know when your teen could benefit from talking with a mental health practitioner or needs additional academic support.
The Conversation is an online publication that shares news and views from the academic and research community. Read the entire article, “Talking with your teen about high school helps them open up about big (and little) things in their lives.”