How to Cope When Your Kids Go to High School
As a parent, watching your children mature and become more independent is a wonderful experience — especially when it means they can finally do their own laundry and help cook dinner.
However, watching your kids grow can be a bittersweet experience, too. Being a parent is a meaningful and time-consuming part of your identity. As your teens spend more time at school, engaging in new hobbies, and spending time with friends, you may find it difficult to adjust to your teen’s growing independence.
From finding quality time together to expanding other relationships, there are ways to help you cope with the transition of your kids going to high school.
Prioritize Quality Time
Almost every day, there are moments when you can find time to check in with your child and get some meaningful face time. Even if their schedule is packed with school, sports and other hobbies, making them breakfast or sitting down to dinner is great quality time.
Rather than expecting your teen to enjoy all the same family activities they enjoyed as a child, consider their changing interests and stay involved. If they love going to baseball games or seeing live music, find things you can do together that involve those interests.
Though your high schooler probably won’t tell you this, most high schools offer parent meetings for incoming freshman. This will give you a chance to meet your child’s administration and teachers, and find other ways to remain involved with their academic career.
PTA organizations are a great way to volunteer at year-round events hosted by your child’s school. Sports games, school dances and other large events often need parent volunteers, which gives you the opportunity to stay connected with your child’s interests and school activities.
Nurture Other Relationships
Being a parent is an important role, and as your child becomes an independent teen, you may not feel as important as you used to. It can be helpful to create a list of other relationships in your life, and find areas where you may be able to expand.
If you have a spouse or partner, invest more time into that relationship to build more mutual interests and rekindle your romance. Or you can focus more attention on your hobbies and life passions, or become more involved around your community.
Focusing on yourself will help you deal with your child becoming more independent, and give you the tools to navigate the next big step — your child going to college.
But while your teen is still in high school, there are things you can do as their parent to help them navigate new friends, more responsibilities, and the social pressures of being a teen.