Being the parent of a teen who has recently entered high school can be terrifying. Your learner is entering a new world and all you want is for them to be successful. You want to be helpful to them while still supporting their growing independence. How can you help them succeed while still letting them try things out for themselves? Here are some tips on how you can help your high schooler be successful.
Ask the Right Questions
Teens are notorious for their lack of sharing. You may be curious about your teen’s school day and they may reply with one-word answers and zero elaboration. How can you help them succeed with their studies if you know nothing about how their school day was?
That is why it is important to set a structure that makes it easier for communication. Asking the right questions will prompt your teen to share more. Having more information will help you assist your learner with their school work. It also models great communication skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
Make a habit of asking the same questions regularly. If your teen knows what to expect, they will be more prepared to provide relevant information. Avoid vague and “yes or no” questions that are easily avoidable. Try asking specific questions and do not be afraid to ask your teen to expand on what they said. The more information you have about your teen’s school day, the more you can help them. The simple act of having a conversation about the day can make them feel heard and supported which will later lead to their success.
Help your Teen Manage their Time
High school can be a hectic time for a teen. For the first time in their life, they are dealing with multiple classes, sports, activities, and social life. Helping your teen learn time management skills can set them up for a lifetime of success.
Consider working with your teen to keep a planner or a family calendar that organizes each week. Teaching your teen to schedule their time will make it easier for them to get involved in school activities. A schedule will also help stay on top of their schoolwork and ensure that they have time to finish all of their homework.
The most successful high schoolers are involved in a variety of sports and extracurricular activities. Teens who learn to manage their time well early in their high school careers are often more successful. Supporting your teen as they learn how to manage their time will increase your teen’s likelihood of success.
You can increase your involvement in your teen’s life by getting involved in their education. Look for opportunities where you can donate your time and energy to help improve your teen’s high school experience.
Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) are a great way to get involved in your teen’s school. You can volunteer and raise money for their education and special activities while building relationships with the school administration and your teen’s teachers. PTAs give you a direct way to have a voice in your teen’s education. Teens who have an involved family are far more likely to succeed in school.
Volunteering to chaperone field trips or other extra-curricular activities is another great way to get involved at school. You will have a firsthand experience of your teen’s education and involvement while building relationships with educators that will serve your teen throughout their high school career.
If you do not have the time to give to your teen’s school, be sure to carve out opportunities in the evening to get involved with your teen’s homework. Whether you can help them or not, sitting with them while they complete it shows that you are there for them. Your moral support will go miles with your teen, and you will continue to build your relationship with them.
Be Open to Trying New Things
High school is a time of exploration. For the first time in their life, they will have an abundance of activities and options at their fingertips. As a parent, you must be open to allowing your teen to try new things that he or she may be interested in. This also may mean that you must be open to trying and learning new things as a parent.
Studies have shown that students who find their special interest while in high school are far more likely to get good grades while in school. Through these additional activities, your teen can meet new friends and find what they are passionate about. The more engaged your teen becomes in the school, the more successful they will be. Supporting your teen when they want to try something new is one of the best ways to ensure that your teen will have a memorable and successful high school experience.
Listen to Your Teen
Your teen knows exactly what they need when they need it. Sometimes all it takes is just to listen. When you listen to your teen you can help provide the support, they may need to turn their struggle into a success. If you take the time to listen to your teen’s needs, you will be able to give them all of the help they need to succeed. Not every teen communicates the same, but the more you make yourself available, the more they will tell you.
Every teen is different, so it is important to avoid assuming that you know what is best for your teen. High school is a time of self-discovery and exploration. Providing your teen with the support and assistance during this time will strengthen your relationship for life while setting up your teen for success throughout their high school career.