High school students are old enough to make many of their own decisions, but they still need their parents to provide guidance and to set limits.
The tips below will help parents guide and advise their children as they go through high school.
- At the beginning of each term, sit down with your son or daughter and together set realistic academic goals for that term.
- Encourage your child to be involved in extracurricular activities. Show your support by attending performances, games, etc.
- Make sure that your child understands that he/she is expected to be in school, on time, every day.
- Attend all open houses and parent conferences.
- Write down the dates that interim reports and report cards come out, and expect your child to bring them home. If you don’t see an interim report or report card, call the school and request a copy.
- Realize that it’s your child’s responsibility to be in school every day, to follow the school rules, to get homework done, and to prepare for tests.
- Work together with the school. If you have a question or concern about a class, call the teacher. For other concerns, contact your child’s counselor or vice-principal.
- Make sure that your son or daughter is not spending too much time on the phone, playing video games, watching TV, instant messaging, etc. Also make sure that a job doesn’t interfere with school.
- Talk to your child about what’s happening in school and be a good listener.
- Look for opportunities to praise good marks and extra effort.
- If you suspect that your child is drinking or using drugs, talk to your son or daughter immediately. If you need help or advice, talk to your child’s counsellor or to your family doctor.
- Help your child figure out how to take care of problems on his/her own. In doing so, your child will gain confidence and become more independent. If your child is unable to resolve an issue, or if there is a serious problem, be available to help or intervene.
- Help your child choose appropriate courses. If you have a question about a course, talk to your child’s counselor.
- If you want to change a behaviour, first make sure that your son or daughter knows exactly what your expectations are. You can then offer rewards if your expectations are met and/or consequences if they’re not. Never take away a positive activity (e.g., sports, choir, school play) as a consequence.
- Put the computer in a common space so that you can monitor your child’s Internet activity. Learn about the technology your child is using.
- Help your child explore and evaluate a variety of career and educational options.
Make school a top priority. Nothing is more important to your child’s future than education!
If you are concerned about your child’s academic performance, talk to your child’s counsellor. A school counsellor is not only an excellent
resource for students, a school counsellor is also an excellent resource for parents.