Four pieces of practical advice every parent can give their child when they start high school.

Anyone that has undergone secondary education will confirm that high school is nothing like the movies depict it to be.

It’s a time of uncertainty and unpredictability but thankfully excitement too. Share this advice with your young adults to help them progress into one of the most exhilarating and challenging phases of their life to date.

Being friendly goes a long way

For many people, socializing comes naturally but when you’re placed in an unfamiliar environment, with unfamiliar people, it can be quite daunting even for the most confident of children.

A simple ‘hello’ to a stranger can go a long way on the first day of school and is more likely to have a positive effect than a negative one. Even if your child is going to high school for the first time surrounded by their closest friends, suggesting they make some new friends can lead to a more fulfilling high school experience. Everyone is in this new environment together, make the most of it.

Get some sleep, you will need it

The added homework, social events and independence of the coming six years will leave your young adult immersed in a new world of distractions and almost definitely sleep deprived. Maintaining regular sleep patterns and a balanced diet will give them the fuel they need to live to their full potential.

New York Times best seller Arianna Huffington refers to the worldwide ‘Sleep Crisis’ as being widespread across all ages and having “profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness…” in her book The Sleep Revolution. In the integral years of high school when emotions and pressures are running high, sleep can be an unlikely best friend.

Own your unique abilities

When a young adult starts high school, the mindset of most is to conform and fit in to the best of their ability. At the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office, we encourage young people to explore new opportunities to uncover their God-given talents.

Each student is encouraged to pursue their dreams and find their true potential.

Having positive reinforcement at home and within the school environment can empower your children to speak up if they want to be involved in something new and explore opportunities that may be outside their comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

No matter what age, everyone needs a support system at one time or another. Each person’s support system looks different and there may be a variety confidants that serve a different purpose. Starting high school is no easy feat and having somewhere to go to seek advice and spiritual guidance is very important.

To validate this with your high school starter, you may like to ask them to mentally create a list of people who they know they can turn when they need help.


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