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5 Challenges of the Secondary School Parent

Oh the teenage years!! This is a time of trepidation and anxiety for many parents. As children move from primary to secondary school, they begin to experience physical and emotional changes. This can become a time of great turbulence for both the teenager and their parents as they try to maintain a middle ground. Teenagers are trying to understand and deal with this new phase of life while parents are simply trying to understand what is happening with their child. This article was written to communicate the 5 challenges of the secondary school parent as listed below.

1. Helping the child to manage peer pressure
This is probably one of the biggest challenges that most parents will face at this stage of their child’s development. The secondary school student places a lot of emphasis on belonging and wanting to be ‘a part of the crowd’. The pressure and the need to belong can become so strong that the child engages in behavior that the parents find unacceptable. These could include skipping classes, substance abuse, missing curfews and getting involved in illegal activities.

2. Maintaining harmonious relations
Since teenagers will experience a wide spectrum of emotions, parents will have to know how to effectively manage these roller coaster emotions. Some parents may find that their secondary school child may become very argumentative or even withdrawn. These kinds of behaviors may lead to tension between parent and child which could escalate leaving a gulf between the two. However, this can be overcome if a healthy relationship has already been established.image 50 5 Challenges of the Secondary School Parent

3. Maintaining Discipline
The secondary school child will tend to display feelings of independence and the desire to have autonomy over decisions that affect his or her life. Maintaining discipline is a huge challenge as parents attempt to balance restriction with freedom. Some children may view the parents attempt at discipline as unnecessary and unmerited and react in a negative manner. The challenge for parents is to find the mode of discipline that best reinforces positive behavior.

4. Helping the child to develop good time management skills
Your average teenager has school work, chores and social life. As such, they have to seek to balance all three so that the most important things are done first. Undoubtedly, school work is high on the list of priorities followed by completing assigned chores. The challenge that many secondary school parents face is that children tend to spend more time on social and recreational activities as opposed to school work or chores.

5. Choosing the right career path
At this stage, the child is being prepared to move into a career path of choice. However, sometimes conflicts arise with what the child desires and what the parents deem is best. The challenge which exists is the ability of the parents to realistically match their child’s natural abilities with the appropriate career choice. At this juncture, emotions sometimes override reason and logic.

The 5 challenges of the secondary school parent are real and true to life. The truth is many parents have successfully surmounted these challenges and have great testimonials. Learning from the experiences of others can help to empower you as you parent your secondary school child.

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