Support your child for a happy transition to high school.

High school can be an exciting time in your child’s life. Over these four years, they’ll make some of their most formative friendships, and they’ll also experience many milestones, from driving to graduation.

Yet, we understand that this transition can also be a little overwhelming. Emotions are running high, social circles can be complicated, and learning how to juggle school work, extracurriculars, and home life can be a challenge.

Today, we’re sharing 5 ways that you can help make high school a little easier! This season is a major building block in their foundation, so let’s explore ways to make it a strong one.

1. Stay involved.

Research shows that parental involvement is critical to a child’s academic success. From parent-teacher conferences to orientation nights, there should be opportunities for you to plug into your child’s high school and learn about their day-to-day activities.

While your role in their classroom might not be as hands-on as it was in their elementary and middle school years, it’s still important to stay engaged. Ask your high-schooler what they’re learning about, monitor their grades, and be available as a listening ear or sounding board when they need you.

2. Deliver confidence boosts.

You’d be amazed at the power of a genuine compliment to turn a day around. More so than ever before, your child might be feeling a little unsure of themselves. In addition to the normal pressures of high school, they may also be juggling new insecurities rooted in the filters and falsehoods of social media. In fact, more than half of U.S. teens (54%) believe that their lives would be easier if these platforms didn’t exist.

As often as possible, look for ways to boost your child’s confidence with a kind remark, based not only on their appearance but their inner traits. Tell them you admire their hard work, their kind heart or their perseverance.

3. Prioritize family time.

There’s no denying that high school can be an incredibly busy time. Your child might be on a sports team for the very first time, and your weekends are now filled with bleachers and ball games. Perhaps they’re in an academic club and committed to spending a few hours after school each week with that group. Or, maybe homework is ramping up and the class projects seem to be never-ending.

In any case, you’re likely stretched thin and free time is a hot commodity. If you’re feeling stressed, consider how the busy schedule may be affecting your teen. According to one study, 31% of teens report feeling overwhelmed as a result of stress, and more than one-third report feeling fatigued.

Look for as many opportunities as possible to connect as a family unit, whether that’s dinner together every night or a special breakfast routine. Making family time a priority can help your busy high-schooler stay connected and grounded in the familiar structure of home.

If you notice signs of stress in your teen, speak to them about ways to open up more personal time. You can also offer simple stress management techniques, such as spending time outside or writing in a journal.

4. Help them navigate physical changes.

Voice changes, and growth spurts, and acne, oh my! High school can usher in many physical changes for your teen, and some of them can be more challenging than others. As their parent, you can offer emotional support and resources to help your child understand these new developments. This applies to their dental health, as well.

Suddenly, your son is requesting breath mints every time you go to the store, and your daughter is now laser-focused on her slightly crooked teeth. There’s nothing like high school to cast a spotlight on any imperfection, including those related to teeth and gums!

If your dentist recommends orthodontics as a solution to help straighten and correct your high-schooler’s teeth, inquire about Invisalign over conventional metal braces.

A more natural-looking solution, Invisalign is an excellent way to help straighten crooked teeth. It can also help remedy bad breath and gingivitis, as well! Straighter teeth mean healthier teeth and gums, which can keep gum disease and halitosis at bay.

5. Instill organizational skills.

From entering freshmen to graduating seniors, all high-schoolers are required to maintain some level of organization to stay on top of their studies. This might mean writing in a planner every day, or keeping separate binders for different subjects. If they eschew this responsibility, they could lose track of important assignments, forget important test days, and fall behind.

At home, you can help your child hone these skills. For instance, you can show them how to create and maintain a personal calendar full of upcoming events and appointments. You can also work together to create a study station in their room, and stock it with all of the supplies they need to be productive. In your own life, mirror these same habits so they have an example to follow.

In addition to organization, time management skills are also imperative in high school. Help your child create and stick to a daily schedule. Be sure to fit in plenty of time for a healthy breakfast in the morning, and wind-down time at night.

Finding success and joy in high school.

High school may have its fair share of roadblocks and surprise turns, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding journey for both you and your child.

Together, you can work to make sure that these four years are rich with self-development, maturation, and healthy growth. While these 5 tips above can help, the ultimate goal is to connect with your teen and be there to support them through the ups and downs of this new season.

As you do so, we’d love to be there as your trusted dental team. From preschool to high school and beyond, we’re here for your family. Feel free to reach out to us with any concerns or to schedule an appointment.