Is your child entering high school this year? I’m sure you feel OVERWHELMED because this is a HUGE milestone! Take a deep breath and keep reading for these much needed back to school tips for parents of high school students.
Do you remember your high school days like they were yesterday? Probably not.
When your own kids hit high school age you are likely ill-prepared to:
- Acknowledge your true age.
- Realize how long ago your own high school experience actually was.
- Own your ignorance of life in the high school world of 2022 . . .
Back To School Tips for Parents of High School Students
#1 Ask Questions
By all means, ask questions of your friends with older children but do not stop there. Make an appointment with your child’s guidance counselor (if you homeschool, talk to the coordinator of dual enrollment at your local community college).
What was true for your friend’s son who graduated four years ago is not necessarily true for your rising junior or senior. And there are broad requirements depending on what college your child may want to attend.
For example, most colleges require ACT test scores. But community colleges may just want you to take their admission test. A technical school may not require either.
If you are a homeschooler with a child who is active in an NCAA sport, research what is required for that child to participate at a high school level – it’s daunting but doable.
#2 Be Open
Among the things they never show you on HGTV is a living room, hastily rearranged and filled with 10-15 teenagers. It’s not pretty.
Also, it’s not cheap (teens eat constantly), but it is worth every inconvenience. And trust me, you will miss that chaos when they are gone!
As your child starts high school, consider that their friends may range in age from 13-19. If you haven’t already, get to know your child’s friends. Make them welcome in your home. Yes, it’s work, but it’s work worth doing.
#3 Future Planning
Before your child starts high school, spend some time talking about their future goals and aspirations. Talk frankly about your finances and what you are able to help them achieve.
Do virtual college tours. Look into financial aid options and what they mean after graduation in terms of debt. Keep in mind that college is NOT the only option for today’s teens.
#4 Family Time
Insist that you and your child share at least one meal a day. This can be harder than it sounds, but it is worth the effort.
Work around school, work, practices, and social obligations to sit down and eat something – scrambled eggs and toast work any time of day and only take a few minutes!
Let your child lead the conversation. Keep your mouth full, so you can give thought to your reactions. Check out this post for more ideas for bringing back family dinnertime.
#5 Your Teen’s New Independence
Now is the time to talk to your child about money and how to manage it. Most schools really do a poor job of teaching finances, and it’s probably one of the most important lessons to learn!
Help them set up their own bank account (if they’re under 18 and at your own bank or credit union, you’ll have access to the account).
As they go through high school, give them the freedom to spend without question (while encouraging them to save!). Work through mistakes and bad logic BEFORE they are off on their own. Dave Ramsey has incredible resources specific to high school students designed to aid in financial lessons.
One of the biggest points of being a parent is raising a child who can leave home as a self-sufficient, functioning adult. High school is your chance to test various skills before your child is on their own. You have a chance to pull them back if need be or to push them to be more independent.
No doubt, through your child’s high school career, you will encounter things you NEVER expected. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It’s all going to work out in the end.
What are some of your families back to school traditions? Please share in the comment section below.
Additional Resources for Parents of High School Students
Here are some additional resources (some also great back to school tips) for parents of high school students.
- Life Skills For Teens: What Your Teen Can Confidently Master This Summer
- 3 Outside The Box Ways To Turn Your Teen Into An Active Learner
- How to Teach Your Special Needs Teen Transitional Skills at Home
- ESY For High School Students
Looking for more back-to-school tips?
Here are a few other blogs that may interest you…
- 5 Essential Back to School Tips for Parents of a Middle Schooler
- 5 Back to School Tips for Parents of Elementary Students You Need to Know
- How to Help Your Special Needs Child Transition to a New School
- How to Choose The Best School For Your Child With Special Needs