How to Help Your Teenager Adjust to High School
Orlando Teen Counselor Shares Tips
It is a brand new school year and that means many young teens are just beginning their first year of high school, although this time is often very exciting for your child, it can also be overwhelming and nerve racking. The move into high school is often a significant change for many teens, and the adjustment can be challenging. The pressure of a new and bigger environment is often unnerving for teens, and the pressure to fit in or meet certain social and academic standards can be overwhelming. At GroundWork Counseling or teen counselor suggests in order to make the transition as easy as possible, it is important for for parents, to be involved in their child’s life, and be available for discussions – being as nonjudgemental as possible in order to encourage further communication.
How To Support Your Teen’s Transition Into High School:
- Help them learn their new environment. Many schools have freshman orientation where students can get their class schedule, locker number, etc. During this time your teen can practice their new daily routine and become more familiar with their schedule and surroundings. We suggest your teen go from their first period classroom, to each classroom they will be visiting throughout their school day. Also help your teen find their locker, have them enter and check the combination, to be sure they can access their supplies needed during the first day. This practice will likely help decrease the stress that they may feel on the first day.
- Help them adjust to the time change. Many high schools start much earlier than middle schools and have longer periods/days etc; this can be exhausting for your child. If there is a bed time in place, you may suggest to your teen that they go to bed a bit earlier, so that their morning routine becomes easier.
- Let them know that adjustment takes time. Your teenager might be feeling overwhelmed at with the transition into high school, especially if they feel like they are not adjusting well to their new environment. Whether it be because they are not making friends, or they ares strolling with the amount of academic work; let them know that all adjustment takes time. Encourage your teen to be patient with themselves.
- Listen to your teen no matter how trivial their challenges and struggles might seem you. Emphasize that you are there for them, to help support and guide them through this transition period. Encourage your teen to come to you with any problem or questions they might have, this establishes an open line of communication for future struggles that may arise.
- Get involved and encourage them to do the same. Find balance of being involved in your child’s life and allowing your teen to gain independence. Encourage your child to become involved in school activities that interest them, and possibly join a team, club, or sport. Parents can show support by attending events, and offering encouragement and interest in their child’s hobbies. Also, joining school clubs or sports teams is a wonderful way for teens to make friends that share their interests, and can be a great way for teens to gain confidence.
- Encourage your teen to make good friends. Your teenager will encounter many new people in high school. Encourage your child to choose their friends wisely, as they will have a great influence on them through out their four years in high school. Ask them about new friends, and have conversations about the interests they share. Have open discussions about the peer pressure they might face now that they are in high school and encourage them to stay true to their morals and values.
- Remind them to enjoy it!
If your teen is struggling with adjusting to high school in the Central Florida area, GroundWork is here to help.
At GroundWork we often work with teens that need additional support during the transition into high school. Through counseling, your teen can cultivate useful coping skills and tools, find balance, improve social functioning, and change unhelpful behavioral patterns. If your teen is having a difficult time transitioning into high school, at GroundWork we’re here to help.
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