Dealing with Your Child's First Day of High School

Starting high school can be a difficult experience for kids and parents alike, due to the change in routine and environment. 
Dealing with Your Child's First Day of High School
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The first day of high school can often be a daunting experience, but it’s important to keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some basic measures you can take to make the day as anxiety-free as possible.

The reason why the first day of high school can be stressful is because it involves a new chapter in a child’s life. In this article, we’ll offer some advice to ensure that it goes smoothly. The transition to high school should ultimately be seen as a positive experience.

First day fo high school: Tutors can play an important role

Your children will have to study harder and become more independent. It’s important to encourage them to take advantage of the resources that the school may be able to provide. A tutor can be someone they can trust, guiding them through that first day and the rest of the school year.

Dealing with Your Child's First Day of High School

A tutor can be a vital part of a teenager’s high school experience, and can be a helpful figure in your child’s future. Encourage your child to approach a tutor and ask questions. Your child should also remember that there’s the option of attending tutorials if need be.

It may be the case that your child thinks that high school teachers and tutors are going to be more distant and demanding. This isn’t necessarily the case. The teachers and tutors have the same goals as those in elementary and middle school: facilitating education. They will also be there to provide support when needed.

College goals can wait

Many students start their first day of high school already thinking of the college career that lies beyond earning their diploma. They want to be doctors, computer scientists, teachers, etc.

These goals may change over time. It’s important to remind your children of this in order to provide more peace of mind as they begin this new stage. Their peace of mind will also mean less stress for you.

High school expectations

A good way to make things easier on you and your children is to talk to them about your expectations regarding this new chapter. This can include grades and personal behavior.

Ask about the extracurricular activities they want to pursue and how much time they think this will require. If everything is made clear from the outset, the first day will be a more positive experience.


It’s highly important to establish clear communication with your children. They should also know how to contact you from the school if they need to. This is the sort of thing that needs to be established from the first day of school.

Both parents and children need to know the school’s policies regarding cell phones. For instance, some schools require that they be turned off and used only in case of an emergency. Others merely require them to be put on silent, and that students not use them during class.

High school schedules

With new classes, new extracurricular activities, a new social life, and the need for rest, your children will have a much fuller schedule. This is something that should be made clear before they begin.

Dealing with Your Child's First Day of High School

Don’t assume that your kids are ignoring you just because they’re less communicative and spending less time with you. They’re probably just trying to find their way in a new environment, embracing new responsibilities and new surroundings.

First day of high school: Don’t try to solve all your child’s problems

Among other things, growing up is about taking responsibility for your own actions. This is an important consideration when beginning high school. While you can listen, offer suggestions and give advice, you shouldn’t try to solve all of your child’s problems.

Make it clear to your children that you’ll be there when needed, but don’t smother them. They need to learn that they need to solve problems on their own, but also that you trust them. This will boost their self-confidence.

In short, being clear about everything starting high school entails is best for everyone involved. It will allow you to manage the dreaded first day of high school much more easily. By following these basic guidelines, the rest of the year should go better as well.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Eva Bach Cobacho. Adolescentes, qué maravilla. 2008. Plataforma Editorial S.L.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.