The first day of high school will always be a significant milestone for both learners and their parents who are based in Singapore.
For many students, this marks the perfect time to explore their interests, widen their view of the world, and give more serious thought to what the future holds. Students who are enrolled in a Singapore International high school, for one, have plenty of academic and professional options that will be available to them once they finish their program. If they are able to complete Advanced Placement (AP) courses or the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) program, for example, then they earn credentials that are recognized and respected by universities and colleges in different parts of the world.
At the same time, enrolling in an international high school in Singapore presents an exciting challenge to students and their families. Parents would do well to help their teens during this transition period and ensure that they are able to adjust to their new academic environment, especially if it’s their first time to become a part of a school with a mostly international background. Here are some of the ways parents can show their support to teens who are entering a new stage in their life in an international high school.
Understand That Your Idea of Parental Success May Be Different from Your Teen’s
Many parents are predisposed to feel that their children’s academic achievements and failures are a reflection of their own. It’s easy to adopt this mindset, as many cultures view “successful” children as an indicator of good parenting. However, it’s important to take note that high schoolers are in the process of forming their own identity, and it’s the parents’ role to ensure that a learner has access to the resources they need to grow not just as a student but also their own person.
Give Your Teen Room to Breathe and Explore Their New School
It can be tempting to set the pace for your child as they explore their new school. Some parents can feel a bit overprotective of their teens, while others may feel the need to push their children out of their shells so that they can make the most of their high school experience. However, starting a new year in an international high school is also a good time to empower your teen to make their own decisions and get to know themselves better. Giving them the space to exercise their judgment and question whether or not they are ready for particular academic and co-curricular commitments will help them prepare for the challenges that they’ll face in the school and beyond.
Build a Family Culture That Appreciates Effort and Improvement
Many teens that are studying in international schools as well as in local high schools in Singapore face a lot of pressure not only in their schools but at home as well. Fearing negative repercussions at home leaves high school students with few outlets to express the difficulties and challenges that they face in school. One of the ways to offer relief to your high school student is to foster a family culture that appreciates effort and improvement. Turn your home into a safe space where your teen can be honest about difficult subjects, the pressure of their upcoming tests, and the stresses brought about by budding friendships. This way, they can be encouraged to keep trying their best and to be honest about what they feel without fearing other people’s reactions.
Talk to Your Teen about Failure and How It’s a Part of the Learning Process
Parents do not want their teens to fail, but falling short of expectations is a reality of life. Instead of denying the possibility of failure, make it a regular part of your casual conversations with your teen. Normalizing the idea of failure will lessen the shame and embarrassment that comes with it, thus making it easier for your teen to pick themselves up and try again if they are not able to meet their expectations. Such an approach will help your teen develop resiliency, a quality that’s crucial to surviving an international high school and making the most of their adult life.
Instill Organizational and Time Management Skills to Your Teen
It’s important for parents to reinforce the values that their teens pick up from their international school. When your teen comes home from school, are they able to make full use of their time and stick to the schedule that they’ve set for themselves? Are they able to communicate well and work cohesively with the rest of your family members at home? Reinforcing your teen’s management and organizational skills in the home setting will help them value their time and other resources, no matter if they’re in school or not.
High school is the perfect time for your teen to apply themselves, develop their passions, widen their network, and seriously consider the goals that they want to achieve in the coming years. Providing a stable and supportive home environment and encouraging your teen to give high school their best shot is a great way of reassuring them that you have their back no matter what. This, in turn, will empower them to make choices and follow through commitments that will help them get closer to their idea of success.