Helping Your Child Navigate the High School Years

Helping Your Child Navigate the High School Years

High school is a major milestone in a teen's life.

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And, while kids want their independence, it's important to stay involved at this crucial juncture, say experts from the University of Pittsburgh. The reason: good parenting has academic, behavioral and emotional benefits for teens.

But what might need to change is how you "parent."

The researchers suggest staying involved by having frequent and high-quality communication with your teen's teachers while encouraging your child to figure out his or her own solutions to homework. However, you still want to maintain rules about quality study time and continue to emphasize the value of education for success in adult life.

When there's a high schooler in the house:

  • Communicate often and in a meaningful way with your teen's teachers.
  • Stress good study habits with a structured homework schedule.
  • Reinforce the importance of getting a good education for future success.

This type of parental involvement was found to help boost teens' grade point averages (GPAs) from 7th to 11th grade, and lower the likelihood of both problem behavior and depression symptoms, which can plague teens.

Continuing to show warmth to your young adult also contributes to their emotional well-being. If your teen shies away from kisses and hugs, find other ways to show affection.

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Remember that the parenting strategies you drew on when your kids were in elementary school may no longer be needed or be as effective as children move to middle and high school. Be flexible and re-adjust your approach based on your child's individual needs during the teen years, and as his or her personality emerges.

More information

The Nemours Foundation offers advice for helping your child succeed in high school.


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