Dear Your Teen:
My husband is being transferred to the East Coast and my son will be entering high school in the fall. He’s nervous about being the new kid in school. Do you have any suggestions for helping him with the transition? He is especially worried about who he will sit with at lunch on the first day?
Answer | Glenn Krause
Tips for Fitting In at A New School
Transferring to a new school can be difficult for some students, particularly if your son is on the shy side. If your son is worried about being the new kid in school, I would suggest a few things:
Get Involved in Summer Activities
If the move is directly after he graduates from 8th grade, then he should get involved in activities within the community or at his new high school. Many high schools have sports and band camps during the summer.
Get a Freshman Buddy
If the move will be closer to the end of the summer and your son will not have much of an opportunity to meet people, I suggest that you or your husband contact the school about one week before school starts and have the school assign him a freshmen student who has lived in the community a few years. This student would have to eat the same lunch period as your son. And let the school know that the “lunch buddy” should be on the extroverted side. Your son’s guidance counselor should then have both boys meet before lunch the first day of school. Another idea is to get your son involved in sports, clubs, or some activities at the new high school so he can become part of a group and easily meet new students.
Stay Connected with His Teachers
For the first month of school, you or your husband should email his teachers once every two weeks just to see how he is doing socially. Most high schools have the academics online and parents can check how their teen is doing in each class. I would suggest either you or your husband check this once per week the entire school year, and if you have questions you can email the specific teacher.
Glenn Krause is a board-certified high school guidance counselor with an MA in Counseling. He has over 25 years experience counseling teenagers and working with their parents. Learn more at ParentingYourTeenager.com.