As your child progresses through school there will be challenges to deal with, particularly during those watershed terms. Being aware will prepare you for the tasks ahead and keep you ahead of the game.
- Friendships become an important part of the emerging teenager’s life and issues around popularity, social media and romantic relationships will surface. Learn to be a supportive bystander but implement boundaries and rules about the use of social media and monitor their online activity.
- Be aware that bullying can become an issue when younger children go to high school, so keep the lines of communication open and look out for signs of withdrawal or reluctance to attend school.
- Teenage behaviour can be challenging, so when you are feeling upset with your child, check your own behaviour first to keep things from escalating. If your child is acting sullen and withdrawn, it can be helpful to explore the reasons rather than taking it personally.
- Attend orientation and information sessions so you can be informed about your child’s learning. Be aware of the amount and types of homework students are expected to complete. Resist the temptation to do their homework for them.
- Communicate with teachers and the school wherever possible.
- Consider ways to provide some downtime for your child. Seek out apps and websites that help reduce anxiety and increase the sense of wellbeing such as Smiling Mind.
SOURCE: Education Department, Meerilinga, ECU’s Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh, Telethon Kids Institute’s Professor Donna Cross.
Excerpt from an article by Connie Clarke published in The West Australian on January 20th, 2016