Few milestones make you feel more like a parent of a teenager than entry into high school. Where my husband and I were once intricately involved with our daughters’ junior school, by the time they got to high school all those movie nights and chocolate bar sales seemed a blurred memory of the past. (Side note, we thought we were done with parent council in middle school, but arrived late to the first meeting, thus being elected co-chairs for our daughter’s Grade 8 year. Take note.)
But our immersion into the world of being high school parents hasn’t rendered us completely obsolete. We have continued to drive kids to team practices and games. We’ve attended the obligatory meet the teacher nights, which at our daughters’ high school is more like a round of speed dating. All the teachers assemble around the perimeter of the gym and we hang in the middle until we see one of our kids’ teachers is available, then jump in for a meet and greet. And there are the performances. We try to get to all of those.
Hopefully you’ve helped your child establish some good homework habits but inevitably, there will be nights where they forget something is due the next day, or they don’t allow enough time to write an essay. When that happens, you won’t be able to resist saying “maybe you shouldn’t have watched four episodes of Community yesterday,” but try.
Then there is the stunning reality that you may no longer be able to help your child with homework when they come to you. Math is, like, hard. Luckily for us, our neighbour is a math specialist and has come to our rescue a couple of times. We’re showing our children that it’s OK to ask for help (yeah, that’s how we spin that).
One head-scratcher our husband and I wonder about is the safe arrivals policy at the school. If our children are late to any class or absent, we get the robocall that night. Absent from a class, OK, that might be a dinner table discussion that’s worth having. But late for class? Us parents are being admonished for hovering like helicopters, and then the school doesn’t really make it easy for us to disengage. We’ve learned to ignore those calls. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right?