How to Prepare Your Child For the Transition to Secondary 1
The Straits Times
Republished with Permission
14 Nov 2021
This is especially since safe distancing and mask-wearing during the pandemic have made connecting with others more challenging, says Ms June Yong, family life specialist and lead of insights at the charity Focus on the Family Singapore.
She suggests: "If your child is open to doing so, you could bounce ideas off him or her on how to initiate a conversation with a classmate. For example, by asking, 'Hi, which school are you from?' or 'Which CCA are you thinking of joining?'"
Parents should also encourage their children to be intentional in creating opportunities to get to know their new classmates better, she adds.
Roll with the changes of adolescence
The changes in the transition to Secondary 1 cannot be separated from the wider changes associated with adolescence.
Ms Yong says inculcating a positive attitude in young people heading into Secondary 1 is important.
She says: "As they would also be experiencing changes in body, mind and emotions, it is critical to prepare them to know what to expect and to keep communication lines open so that they can come to you whenever the stress gets overwhelming or they need help.
"As parents, we should listen to them without judgment or scolding, so that they won't feel afraid of coming to us for help."
Teaching these youth "self-soothing techniques" - such as guiding them to articulate statements like, "Things may seem overwhelming now, but over time I will get used to the new subjects" - and encouraging them to have a growth mindset can help them manage life stressors better, Ms Yong says.