Parenting is key to help teens navigate high school

If you’ve got kids, the first day of school was probably pretty emotional for everyone…parents and kids alike and it really doesn’t matter what grade they are entering. Male Teenage Pupil In Classroom

But, if you have a teen starting high school, then you know “those days” that we take their hand and walk them into school are long gone! Now you might get a “half” hug – if you’re lucky… (And it’s in the parking lot). Often your teen doesn’t even want you to step on school grounds. So many things are changing for parents… However, there are still many ways you can be actively involved in your teen’s life without embarrassing them!

Help your teen connect to new people, friends and experiences. Students who feel connected simply do better in school.
• Introduce your teen to new people, programs and activities.
• Help them discover their interests.
• Encourage your teen to get involved in school activities, such as clubs, music/arts, volunteering or sports teams.
• Encourage supportive friendships by welcoming their friends in your home.
• Encourage your teen to know and help your neighbours.

Members Of Female High School Soccer TeamHelp them balance school & homework, extracurricular activities, jobs and quiet time. Teens need help with scheduling and balancing their commitments, interests and down time.
• Ensure your teen gets a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
• Encourage balanced nutrition and family meals.
• Set time and space aside for homework. Even if homework is heavy, encourage them to set time aside to stay involved in an activity they enjoy.
• Set parameters regarding screen time (TV, video games & online activities)
• Limit part time work to 15 hours a week.

Support them. Teens are particularly anxious about being embarrassed. Positive parental support is linked to the development of resiliency in teens, a teen’s use of empathy and good problem solving during adolescence.
• Talk about potential challenges and brainstorm solutions together.
• Show respect about the things they tell you; do not tease them.
• Use emotional outbursts as opportunities to help them learn to cope.
• Stay alert to signs of trouble. Encourage talking it through.
• Ensure they know where to go for help. Encourage them to ask for it.

Be and stay involved. Take an interest in what your teen likes to talk about. Also, know what your teen is doing, where they are going, with whom and when & how will they get home. Family Playing Dominoes In Kitchen
• Remember to have fun together, set aside family time.
• Listen to them. Encourage them to be involved in decisions that impact them.
• Set up family chores and ground rules together. Teens are more likely to agree to follow family rules when they have an active role in deciding what they should be.
• Allow and discuss natural and safe consequences.
• Teach problems solving skills.
• Help your teen deal with bullying, teasing, intimidation and violence.

Be a good role model. Parents can set an example for their teens through their actions by outlining clear roles, goals and expectations.

• Be reliable and present. Put down any technology when speaking to them.
• Practice assertiveness with your teen.
• Encourage teens to make commitments and keep them.
• Recognize and praise their efforts (not only their achievements).
• Discourage discrimination and aggression in all forms.

Share with us your experience!

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.


About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for over 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 13 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my 2 teens with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens, Transition to High School and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Parenting is key to help teens navigate high school

  1. Laura Paisley says:

    There is some excellent advice in this article which is echoed in a number of good books out there for parenting teens. Perhaps the best I have read over the years is the more recently published ‘Parents in Highschooland’ by Karyn Rashoff. Her years of guidance counselling experience and no nonsense approach is wonderfully laid out of seven well thought sections that can really be read in any order. Fantastic as a solid reference guide to turn to as needed. I would consider this a must-read for parents of high school teens and even teachers.

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