Parents whose children are entering secondary school for the very first time on Monday are being urged to assist them in adapting to the new environment.
Speaking as a panelist at the 2023 Parent Webinar Series hosted by Winners’ Circle Incorporated and Camp Transition, Keisha King-Bend, a mother of four boys, told parents that it was necessary to continue to be a guiding hand in preventing first-formers from sinking.
“Don’t leave them now in first form to see how they will survive. You don’t want to watch them sink because when you realise something is happening, it’ll be too late to reel them back in. So you got to keep in touch with your child consistently,” she said.
She identified that help was especially needed with the development of their time management skills as children moved from a schedule of six subjects in primary school to that of 13 subjects and stressed that it would be critical for parents to lend a hand with the various subjects as many children could become overwhelmed.
“It’s going to be three terms of work that you probably haven’t seen since you were last in first form umpteen years ago, so you might have to pick up that book and learn how to do maths again or learn how to do geography because you have to help your child. You cannot let them sink,” he said.
King-Bend, who is a Risk Management Manager with a professional services firm, highlighted her own experience with her now 12-year-old son during his transition to secondary school.
“Make sure your children set goals. Tell them you should set goals so that you are not pushed around in terms of just going to school and not knowing what you are doing there,” she added.
She also advised parents to encourage their children to join extracurricular activities as these will help them integrate into school life easier.
Urging caregivers to build a camaraderie with one another so that they were always aware of what was going on in class, King-Bend also insisted that parents get to know their child’s classmates and join the Parent Teacher Association.
Insisting that parents must remain interested and connected with their children throughout the entire secondary school journey, 18-year-old university undergraduate student Dimitri Hoyte noted that it was important to talk to children not only about their day, but also about how to deal with different personalities of classmates and teachers respectfully in order to avoid friction in class.