PSLE is over and it is now time to prepare your child (and yourself!) for secondary school. Entering a new environment and being surrounded by new faces can be quite an overwhelming experience for anyone, let alone a child. So, here are some tips to help your child cope and settle well during his or her transition to secondary school.
As children enter their teenage years, it is a good idea for parents to start giving them the autonomy to make their own decisions. Teenage angst is not uncommon and they will start yearning for their own personal freedom. All of them will become independent adults eventually, so go ahead and let them roam (with proper guidance, of course) rather than keep them on a tight leash. As a start, have your child make his or her own schedule and decide when the time for work and for play should be.
With teenage angst comes anxiety and periods of self-doubt. Your child may start to have self-esteem issues and entering a totally different environment does not exactly make things better.
Therefore, it is crucial, as parents, to encourage your child to stay curious and explore things. More importantly, assure him or her that mistakes are forgiven and that it is okay to voice things out when in doubt. Joining clubs and societies and participating in extra-curricular activities are good ways to make new friends and foster a sense of belonging in the new school. Furthermore, your child may even discover a new-found passion or talent!
By knowing what to expect when transitioning to a secondary school, your child can better prepare for possible challenges ahead. If possible, make personal trips to familiarise your child with the different routes to school and with the school environment such that he or she is less likely to get flustered on the first day of school.
As they will be taking on more subjects, workload will definitely increase as well. So, do let your child spend some time going through the relevant content to get a rough idea of the Secondary 1 subject syllabuses before the start of the academic year. View some of our video lessons here and give your child a head start in school with our instant homework help feature.
Emphasise on self-care
Remind your child that one’s mental and physical well-being is more important than simply getting good grades. Keep your child physically active and cultivate healthy lifestyle habits such as getting adequate sleep and having balanced diets. This way, he or she can focus better and stay on track in school. It is easy for children at this age to succumb to peer pressure or keep things to themselves, so pay attention and be mindful of how your child is feeling and whether he or she is coping fine in school. If the need arises, talk to the teachers in school to find out more and work things out with your child.
During this transition phase, try not to push or expect your child to be getting perfect grades starting from Term 1. Settling into a new school takes time and it may not be perfectly smooth-sailing. So, be patient and be there for your child.
Sources: [1, 2]
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