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Ask The Expert: My Teen Is Starting A New High School In A New City

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 whom he will sit with at lunch on the first day?

EXPERT | Glenn Krause

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, there are some ways to ease his transition.

3 Suggestions for When Your Kid is New in Town:

1. 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. Being part of a group that shares similar interests makes meeting people easier.

2. 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.

3. 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

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.