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The transition from junior high to high school is a pretty major one for most kids. For one thing, they have to deal with the fact that while they were head honcho as eighth graders, they will be returning to the bottom of the totem pole as freshmen. This can lead to a number of changes both in their physical appearance and the way they act. It can also be a very tough time for parents as they attempt to figure out what has gotten into their normally predictable children and turned them into (gasp!) teenagers. However, if you know what to expect and the logic behind their seemingly inexplicable alterations, it may just make the transitions a little easier for everyone.
Every parent knows they are coming, but it can still be a little surprising when your teen puts on pants that fit them just fine a few months ago, only to find that they are now two inches too short. Be prepared to lay out a bit more cash for clothes over the next couple years since they will be going through them pretty fast.
Now more than ever, your child will become concerned with what others think. This will affect not only their hair, makeup, and clothing choices, but also the music they listen to, the way they decorate their room, and likely their attitude towards you (hanging with parental units is SO not cool). Try to keep in mind that you did the same thing to your folks, once upon a time.
Although it was still perfectly acceptable to play with multiple friends in junior high, you will likely find that your teen sticks to a clique in high school. This pairing off is only natural, and as long as your child seems happy with their group of friends, you shouldn't let it trouble you.
An unfortunate side effect of entering into a new cultural landscape is that you are going to encounter a whole new set of terminology that sounds completely inane. These days, everything is geared toward texting (LOL, BRB, etc.), so you may need a guidebook to interpret their lingual shortcuts. But don't get too exasperated. Think back on how many times you called your own mother "dude" when you were in high school.
While you have been able to avoid the hot-button topic of dating and sexuality, it will no doubt come rushing to the surface sooner rather than later now that they're in high school. It's probably best to bite the bullet and broach the subject before they get into some trouble you'd rather avoid.
Aside from all the socializing, you will likely notice a bump in the amount of homework they're assigned. This is, of course, to prepare them for the increased workload of college and university, but it can still mean a lot of late nights for you and your teen. To keep the frustration level low and ensure that they're getting enough sleep, think about implementing some mandatory homework hours (before they're allowed to hop on Facebook).
The aspect of a child making the transition into high school that is hands-down the hardest for most parents is the penchant for privacy. As kids begin to experiment with individuality, they're not going to want to share every detail of their lives like they did when they were younger. Pushing them will only make it worse, so even though it's hard, you're just going to have to trust that the lessons you instilled in them will carry through and that if they really need help, they will turn to you first. That said, don't be afraid to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to make sure they're not getting into too much trouble!