Today’s high school students face an increasingly competitive environment when compared to the one a few years ago. To make sure your 8th-grader is prepared for the big transition this fall, check out these ten tips sure to help with complex issues like peer-pressure, SAT scores, GPA, and learning a foreign language to help them in today’s competitive job sphere.
1) Clarity and Organization
Keeping things clean in your child’s room allows them to focus on schoolwork. It will also allow fun activities while you’re not home, such as letting in people you don’t know. Spin the bottle, smash the lamp, and trash the kitchen are all fun ways your kid can express their angst without getting their room dirty.
2) Dealing with Peers
With all the stupid websites like Ask.fm out there, one has to wonder what kids should do with their time. Most people will tell you sports, hobbies, and community service are an excellent alternative. But you and your family aren’t most people. I suggest your child train in the martial arts for the next few months and engage in a grueling physical fitness regimen. At night, they can sneak out and catch their friends doing drugs or committing vandalism. And your child will be the perfect vigilante: they’ll know where to find them.
3) Managing Stress
How should your child manage stress? With tight schedules and big decisions about their future just around the corner, the average high school freshman is fraught with stress. Have your kid take a day off – Ferris Bueller style, of course. Make it a game with your children to have them take a day off from school. If you don’t catch them, they win a prize. A day like this can be especially helpful for your child before an exam.
Ask your child what they think might be best. They spend time around their peers all day long! Have your child observe their peers from inside a plastic suit with binoculars while at school, avoiding conversation. They’ll make friends once they share their witty observations on the folly of youth.
5) Writing Skills
Good communication skills are essential to getting a job. Have your kids text you, their friends, and other family members as often as possible until it replaces speaking and hand-written letters. Kids will learn faster typing and the use of Autocorrect this way.
6) Keep it Manageable
Does your child have three tests the next day? Tell them it’s o.k. if they only study for two. The American education system has high expectations that drive many youngsters to give up. A day off from school could also be helpful (see #3).
7) Middle School can be Pretty Stressful, Too
That’s right. Middle school can be pretty stressful. If your child finds high school as stressful as middle school, they need a day off (see #3).
8) Standardized Test Practice
With all those days off from school, kids can find the time to complete a few hundred practice problems in a costly workbook or online class. If all problems are not completed and checked, they will not do well on their test. Period. Be sure to explain to your child the domino effect of doing poorly on a standardized test – not getting into their first choice school, not getting a job, and being deported from the US – to ensure they’ll take it seriously come test day.
9) Ethnic/International RelationsToday’s businesspeople find themselves needing to communicate with folks whose language they don’t speak. Show your kids movies like “Lone Survivor” and “Aladdin” to give them a good grip of Middle Eastern politics. For Europe, try “The Great Mouse Detective.” My kids enjoyed “Captain Phillips” when studying Somali culture. These films have a good grip of what life is like in these areas and always show other cultures in a positive light. For Asian culture a good starting point is “Kung Fu Panda.” Be sure to quiz your child on racial stereotypes, and ask them to give examples.
At some point your high school freshman will be completing puberty. They’ll be putting the icing on the moody cake that was baked out of hormones and sweat during middle school. A quick chat in the car over Danish should settle any concerns about the human body they have. The rest will be covered by peers throughout the school day.
Need more satirical advice from Southern Boulevard? Stop by GAME PLAN: Family Gathering to learn more!