by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The year my daughters started high school was crazy. It was so hard to believe they were that age already. Like many moms out there, I was both excited and a ball of nerves. A combination of research and relaxation helped me get through the mommy jitters that occur when a child starts high school.
Take a tour of the school. Sometimes the unknown is the scariest part about sending a child off to high school. Why not take a tour of the school beforehand to get an idea of what things will be like? Some schools offer this as part of the orientation process. Others may have it as an optional choice. Generally, you can call the school ahead of time to get information on their specific procedure. Taking your teen along for the tour is a good idea. Be sure it is understood where all the classes are. This helps avoid that lost feeling on the first day of school - one more reason to ease up on the mommy jitters.
Read all you can about the high school. In addition to visiting the school, read up on their policies, history, and scheduling processes. Does your child have a career counselor available? What are the test scores? Who might be teaching your child and what are their credentials? What are former parents and students saying about the school? Hopefully, this info soothes some of the mommy jitters. If there are red flags, such as low test scores and all negative reviews, you may want to consider another high school.
Have a mommy-daughter talk. By high school age, there are certain things your teen should know. Fill in the blanks with stories and anecdotes from when you were a teen. Your child may roll eyes, stomp off, or otherwise pretend to ignore your advice. But believe me, it's just a show. Your teen needs to know scenarios related to dating, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, and more. These topics may seem difficult. But they will be even more difficult if you have to deal with them in a more active way because you didn't warn your teen. Knowing that your teen is informed can also help clear some of the mommy nervousness centered around high school.
Outline what you expect. Lay down those big bad rules and make sure your teen knows you intend to keep them. Focus on the what, how, and why. When you know that your child is informed, it's easier to avoid the nervous mom jitters. Teens may not always listen. But teens who know the rules and know them well, including consequences, may be less likely to cause their parents a reason for concern.
Breathe. I mean it. Just relax, take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and let go. I know firsthand how stressful it can be letting your teen enter a whole new world. But it does neither you or your teen any good if you are all nervous and jittery. Moms like me may choose yoga as a form of relaxation. Another idea is to make some homemade beauty recipes with your teen. This activity works for boys and girls, depending on what beauty regimens you are using and what boys are comfortable with. Puzzles are also another way the whole family can de-jitterize themselves. No matter the activity, choose something that fits your family's lifestyle and will help calm your nerves.
More from Lyn:
Back to School: Must-Have Accessories for Teens
Should All Schools Go Back to Mixing Age Groups?
Save Time and Frustration When Getting Kids Ready for School
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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