A. What kids face going from Elementary to Middle School and Middle School to High School
1. Elementary to Middle School is when you see the biggest increase in self-esteem issues, scholastic challenges, bullying, and changes in expectations of responsibility, mobility, independence...can be confusing and overwhelming
2. Middle School to High School: an adult like world. more similar to college then when we were going into High School. Bullying becomes more severe/dangerous and higher risk of self-harm and suicide due to it
B. How to Prepare Your Child:
1. Any tours or orientation take advantage of it and strongly encourage (if not require it). Research shows these are very helpful psychologically and for future success. Find out where everything is, resources available, and put a face to the adult's names.
2. Even if your child hates sports or being social get them involved in something. Kids pick their friends by these activity groups and this can buffer them from isolation and feeling alone/ignored.
3. Encourage a bullying program in Middle School and Peer Counseling Program in High School.
4. Discuss and be available for discussions with your child. Also another adult to discuss with them such as youth leader, coach, relative, or older peer who has recently completed the transition
5. Make sure they have been assessed for learning disability (if concerned) or gotten therapy for depression/anxiety before the transition
6. How to handle their fears/anxieties/pressures/confusion
Courtesy: Dr. Matthew Clark, The Clark Institute