How to Help Your Teenager Start High School

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about preparing you and your child to go back to school. While every new school year can be nerve-wracking, it can be especially difficult for teenagers to start high school. A new school, new teachers, new students, new expectations – all of this and more can put the pressure on your child. They may be nervous about fitting in and doing well in high school. While it is natural to experience some growing pains when starting high school. Here are a few tips to help you help your teen adjust to the beginning of high school.

Prepare the New High School Routine

Changing schools can be stressful for your teen. For this reason, many high schools have a “freshmen orientation” before school officially starts. This orientation allows students to familiarize themselves with the layout of the school, meet the teachers, and understand what will be expected of them in high school.

If your teen’s high school offers a freshmen orientation, make sure to attend. If not, you might be able to schedule a tour of the school before the first day of school to put your teen at ease.

You can also prepare other elements of your teen’s new routine ahead of time, such as getting used to getting up for a new school start time, understanding how they will get to and from school, and considering extracurricular activities.

Go Over School Policies

A new school means new school policies. You should review the student handbook with your teen to make sure that they know what is expected of them. Understanding basic policies will help your teenager know their boundaries at this new school.  Review common school issues such as:

  • Attendance policy
  • Plagiarism
  • Dress code
  • Bullying policy
  • Cell phone policy
  • Code of conduct
  • Fighting policy

Peer Pressure

Now that your child is getting older, they may be exposed to different things such as drugs, alcohol, and sex. It is natural for teenagers to be curious and want to experiment with these things. And even though it is difficult to think about your child being interested in these things, they may be. However, these issues oftentimes have legal implications that can make things very difficult for your family.

It is important to talk to your teen about these issues and about how to avoid peer pressure. Equip your teen with the tools that they need to say no and avoid a potential run-in with the law or from doing things that they’re not supposed to on school campus.

Getting Help

If you need additional resources to help your teenager prepare for high school, contact my office. I am happy to help. Alternatively, you can contact my office if your teen does have a run-in with the law or breaks their school policy. I can assist with these situations.