Transitions: Middle School to High School

The transition from middle school to high school is like walking into another town’s shopping mall; some of it is familiar, but the majority of it is new. You have some of the same friends, teammates, interests and habits, but then there’s the new- a new school, new classes, new teachers, new sports teams, and new friends. With all of these major life changes, drama, relationships, parties, and peer pressure inevitably comes too.

Transitions in high school can be awkward for both the parent and child to openly communicate with one another about, but a healthy and open parent to child relationship during the transition from middle school to high school is especially important.

Follow these tips to foster a healthy and open relationship between the parent and child for a smoother transition from middle school to high school.

Parents and Child—Talk Openly

The transition from middle school to high school is the most important time to build an honest and open parent to child relationship because it will continue to blossom throughout high school and onto the high school to college transition. Talking openly about problems, concerns, and thoughts that are embedded in the high school transition will promote honesty, trust, and compromise between the parent and child.

Child—Be Understanding

As a student in high school it can seem like you are always being told what to do and how to feel- especially by your parents. It is important to realize that your parents are expressing their thoughts and concerns about your life decisions because they love you. Understand that no matter how many times you text your parents that you arrived safely at your friends house after driving late they will always worry. Understand that they will always worry for your heart when you start or end a new relationship. Understand that they will always cheer for you, even if you don’t make the team or play.

Parents—What Did You Do?

As you are parenting your child through their transition from middle school to high school, ask yourself: what did I do? You remember what it was like to face peer pressure around drinking and going “too far” in a relationship. Sometimes it was fun to break the rules and other times it was downright scary. You made some poor choices, so what makes you think that your child won’t, too? Tell your child your experiences with alcohol and relationships in high school so they feel comfortable confiding in you about their own experience and problems. By creating this bond and trust with them you can ensure that they know the risks of drinking and sex.

For more help and advice with the transition from high school to college check out Harvest Time Partner’s Face to Face conversation games.

Harvest Time Partners thanks contributing writer Emily Garber for her insights on life’s transitions.