A Small Step for Parents, A Giant leap for Teen-kind
Change is inevitable, we as adults know that nothing ever stays the same. This autumn many of our young teens are experiencing an overwhelming amount of change. Some for the first time.
For the 6th class students of 2023, the transition to 1st year in secondary school in September is one example of a huge change. Leaving the junior school where they grew from toddler to teen, can be daunting. Of course, this can vary from teen to teen depending on personalities and academic ability as well as sociability. However even the most well-adjusted student entering secondary school will find it a large adjustment as they get used to a new student life.
Feargal Breathnach, an experienced primary school 6th class teacher, understands that many children are nervous about this move. “I am constantly reminding new students that everyone is in the same situation in 1st year. Therefore, it is important to remember that secondary schools present great opportunities for making new friends and trying new subjects”, said Feargal. “Any change is difficult initially so it’s important to recognise this”, he adds. His advice to parents is to give their children the platform to talk through any worries they may have at home as well as in school.
As parents each stage of student life means giving more independence to our children. We can prepare them and be there for them, but to a certain degree we really have to let them figure out this new territory for themselves. Listening is critical and it might not always be easy and neither does it necessarily come natural, when as parents as we have spent over twelve years directing their daily movements. “Don’t forget your lunch, homework, PE clothes…you’ve training after school”.
Now they have to work on their own initiative and take more responsibility for themselves. As parents we can support them, but If you do too much for them, you’re depriving them of learning key coping skills.