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Helping Your Child Prepare for Adolescence

You can help your child prepare for adolescence by staying involved with them during the high school years. Research shows that children of involved parents achieve higher grades, feel better about themselves and are less likely to take part in risky behaviours such as smoking, alcohol and drug use. Here are some ideas for how to be an involved parent:
  • Provide support: Children need to feel their parents are caring and supportive. Talk to your child, listen actively, and help him/her to problem solve.
  • Monitor: Know where your child is, who he is with and what he is doing. Stay alert to signs of trouble.
  • Encourage independence: Promoting independence helps children learn new skills, be responsible, improve self-esteem and give them a sense of belonging.
  • Promote time management skills: Children are learning to juggle family life with school, friends and outside activities. Help them manage their time by supplying day planners, calendars and colour-coded binders.
  • Support a homework routine: Choose a specific time and a quiet place for your child to study, free of distractions.
  • Encourage extracurricular activities: Joining a club or sports team creates friendships, promotes active living and reduces “screen time”. Students connected to their school, friends, family and community experience more academic success.
  • Demonstrate stress management skills: Model stress reducing behaviours – take a walk, breathe deeply, read, take a hot bath, listen to music, or talk to a friend.
  • Reinforce the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and enough sleep: Simply eating healthy meals together, being active as a family and developing healthy sleep habits can improve the health and well being of children.
  • Get involved with your teen’s school: Join a committee (school council, fundraising), volunteer and attend school events.