High School…A Big Adjustment for Parents, Too!

 

Manic:  A new school year begins and we are already knee-deep with one in high school and one in 5th grade, so the homework, tryouts, auditions, dentist appointments and more filled this first week of the new school year.  It was a long and exciting week!

Managed:  Understanding that high school is also a big adjustment for me and doing several healthy things for myself to keep it all in check, as I have already felt overwhelmed more than once this week!

I knew that high school would be an adjustment for my son, but I didn’t realize that I would feel it, too!

In the morning, there is a lot to keep track of such as prepared lunches, making sure my busy teen ate his breakfast, signing the zillion papers that are due back the first week of school, overseeing homework completion, making sure he took his ear drops for his painful Swimmer’s Ear (poor kid) and double-checking that all of his required paperwork is in for the golf team tryouts that he competed in all week long.  Whew!  I haven’t even mentioned my 5th grader’s morning needs!  Busy, busy!

Then we are out the door and into the exciting world of a high school parking lot.  Driving him to high school is very different from the elementary and middle school drop-off experience.  We actually saw teenagers wreck their cars three mornings this week as we naviagated our way through the overabundance of teen drivers and the very long parking lot lines to park and to drop off students.  Thankfully, everyone in the accidents were OK, but it made me realize that my drive to the high school requires me to be sharp and drive defensively!

Once the school day is on, I received several texts from my boy with additional items needed for tryouts, school supplies and more.  And he did everything he could to prep ahead of time!  These first-week additions go with the territory.

Another element that was quite different was the parent orientation meeting that we Freshmen Moms and Dads attended on the first day.  As I joined the huge group of other 9th grade parents, I settled in to hear about schedule changes and GPA….or so I thought that would be the topic!  To my surprise, the school’s top notch principal jumped right in with a very important message….

BE IN THEIR BUSINESS!

She repeated that statement several times and went on to elaborate about what  a big adjustment high school truly is, for our child, and for us parents!  All kinds of topics were covered, that are not always comfortable to hear about, such at sexting, drugs, booze, traffic accidents and more.  I soon realized that everything the principal was covering needs to be covered.  And I needed to listen, to be aware and to be ready to discuss such messy topics with my teen.

And my teen was indeed fascinated to hear about all of it when we were reunited later that day.  He wasn’t surprised by any of it, but was interested in my take on the topics.  So we talked.  And I listened.  And the doors are now open for him to come to me with any issue or topic that may arise as we progress through the tricky high school years.  And I let him know that I support him, listen to him and will….be in his business!

So far, he is an excellent teen for us.  We are hopeful that he stays focused and open with us.  He loved his first week of high school!  He likes his classes and is engaged.  He was up late every night doing his homework because his afternoons were consumed with tryouts.

And he received some wonderful news at the end of the week!  After trying out for the high school golf team four days in a row from 3:30 to 6 pm in 118 degree heat….he learned last night that he was selected to be on the development golf team!  30 kids tried out for 15 spots.  The coach selected the first 15 and then he called four more names over for a meeting.  He told these young men that their potential and fine attitudes earned them spots on the development team.  This means that our boy gets to practice with the high school team and receive the coaching and development skills needed to make next year’s team.  Our son is thrilled because this incredible opportunity is a perfect balance with his honors courseload and his travel hockey team, so we are very happy for him!

It was so nice for us to see his hard work, determination, great attitude and heat tolerance pay off for him in this way!  This is another experience I had not seen coming because he decided to try out for the golf team on the 2nd day of school.  Another adjustment for me…now I have to learn all about golf !

So for me, as the mom of a now high-school student, who will often times stay up later than I do to finish his studies, and who will deal with learning to drive, hormones and more…I’m gearing up to be as strong and healthy as I can be!  Since I now see that starting high school is also a big adjustment for me, I joined a gym, am getting my sleep and I’m eating as clean as I can on most days.  It is working and so far, I’m keeping up with my teen! 

What about you parents out there with high school students?  Any advice for a rookie mom like me?  Share in the comments section and I’m wishing all of you…kids and parents alike, a wonderful, happy, healthy and successful school year!