Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Jump from the small pond to the big pond – high school is happening!

Did you know that the transition to from the small pond of primary to the big pond of high school is considered to be one of the most stressful events in their life’s for our children? 

I have lived with this first hand when my daughter moved from a class of 19 in a primary school she loved, to a school with over 200 girls in year 7 (and she only knew 2 of them!). Now my son is showing the same concerns, anxious thoughts and fears of the unknown as he leaves the nurturing safety of primary school, and life as he has known it for the past seven years.

Moving from primary school to high school can bring enormous change for our tweens.

This big move can be exciting and fun, but it can also invite overwhelm, stress and anxietynot just for our children, but also for us as parents too!

Enabling tweens to be ahead of the game and more ready to transition from primary to high school, with less stress and more success for their first year.

As parents, we want to equip them with tools and strategies to calm the nerves of the unknown, build their independence, and transition more confidently. The first term and semester of high school is especially important as children adjust to their new, often larger school and all the challenges and changes.

We can reassure our tweens that all new students will have worries, even those who look like they of have it all together.  Everyone has their own degrees of apprehension, even if they appear calm and cool on the outside.In the lead up to the first day of year 7, give your child a notebook, that they can use to write down any questions, or worries that might come up. That way instead of dealing with them when school goes back, you can have, you can check in on their questions every couple of days. Even if you as the parent don’t know the answer straight away, you have the time to find out for them.

Finding new friends and feeling of belonging amongst hundreds of year 7 students. If they connect with one new friend during the orientation days before school starts, suggest catching up over the summer holidays to strengthen the bond.

Focus on the positives, by asking your tween what they are most looking forward to about starting their new school. Get excited with them about all the new opportunities they will have and activities they will get to try. 

Helping our tweens to manage their mindset and emotions by noticing their self-talk is an important way of building up their coping skills. Empowering our child with simple ways to think well, be self-aware, let go of stress and worries, enable our soon to be high schoolers have the best start for their new chapter.  One simple technique is box breathing. This easy exercise of breathing in for a count of four, holding for a count of four, breathing out for a count of four and holding for a count of four, has been proven to soothe the nervous system, calm the body and mind, and allow us to feel more positive. Learning actionable tools like these also help to overcome stress of assessments, exams and homework.

“The only way to make change is to see these challenges that we face as opportunities.’’ Adam Bellow, Educator

If you have a tween or teen and would love an interactive school talk at your primary or high school, Heidi Horne runs popular SCHOOL TALKS in the Sydney area. These talks are for students and parents to install tools of positive self-talk, mindfulness and mindset to cope with the rollercoaster of being a tween and teen in today’s challenging world, and rise up with resilience and confidence. To get one at happening at your school, all it takes is one key person to get the ball rolling!

She also runs parent and child MINI RETREATS and transformational DAY RETREATS so you can have quality time with your tween or teen to bond, connect, develop new skills and create memories. All the details for her talks and retreats at OR