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Caught in the Middle: Help Your Kids Transition from Elementary to High School

Help Your Kids Stay Focused

You can help your kids stay focused on school by doing the following:

  • Discuss puberty before it happens. Tweens expend an enormous amount of energy wondering what's going on with their bodies. Eliminate the mystery as much as possible, and that energy can then be redirected to their studies. "Your kids are going to roll their eyes, but keep going," advises Wiseman. "Help them cut through the confusion by emphasizing how important it is that they do what feels right and true."
  • Make sure your child gets enough shut-eye. Chronic sleep deprivation makes focusing in class nearly impossible. Impose a strict lights-out time so your child gets the recommended 8 1/2 to 10 hours of sleep on school nights.
  • Don't take maturity for granted. Your son might be a foot taller and your daughter might be a bra cup bigger, "But emotionally, your kids are still kids," says Wiseman. For all their swagger, recognize that they still need lots of parental involvement and guidance.