As if going from tween to teen wasn’t tough enough, add in the extra challenge of transitioning to a new school and you have a recipe for stress and anxiety. Even if your middle schooler is staying with the same kids when he goes to high school, he’s still moving to a new – possibly much larger – building, getting mixed in with teens who are virtually adults already and having to handle classes that will now count towards college admissions. That said, making the move is a challenge that you can help him to meet. Instead of throwing him to the wolves, spend the summer prepping for his move into the big leagues.
Before you dive into the high school transition, keep in mind that this is a process and not one singular event. While there’s a definite first day starting point, the build up to this “event” should be gradual. During this process parents, schools and the students themselves all have their roles to play. As a parent, you can start the transition during eighth grade and kick it into high gear during the summer before high school. Although there are an almost countless number of ways to help your child move from middle to high school, trying a few basic strategies can calm your student’s fears and help him to make the move.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider one (or a combination) of transition-easing ideas:
If you'd like even more tips on how to help the transition to high school go smoothly, download our FREE Parent Guide to High School Transition below.
Erica Loop is a mom, arts educator and freelance writer. She has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology, and now writes at her two parenting blogs Please Shut Up, I'm Thinking and Mini Monets and Mommies.