Q. My daughter has always been a good student. But it's several weeks into her first year of high school, and she doesn't seem to be making a smooth transition. She says none of her close friends go to her school, she hates the teachers, and she's drowning in work. How can I help?
A. Next time she brings up problems, stop what you're doing (no multitasking in this situation) and say, "I'm so sorry. Let's come up with some ideas to help you feel better." Then look for simple, manageable ways she can make some changes. Have her identify one adult at school she can build a relationship with and also a peer in one of her classes. Or is there a club she's interested in? If things don't improve in another month and she continues to dread school, uses being sick as a way to avoid it, or can't concentrate, ask her guidance counselor for help. You may also want to ask for the name of a therapist.
Originally published in the October 2006 issue of Family Circle magazine.