3 Steps To Building Your Child’s Confidence for Secondary School

July 30, 2015

Building Your Child’s Confidence for Secondary School: 3 Steps

building your child's confidence

With the right preparation, Year 7 can be a very positive experience for children (not to mention their parents) and an exciting new time academically. Here is a 3-step guide to building your child’s confidence for secondary school.

1. Start their preparation early
Confidence is key when it comes to starting a new challenge. As all parents of teenagers know, when it comes to preparing a child for secondary school, each child is unique in how they react to the challenge.  

Some children relish breaking new ground but others yearn for the comfort and familiarity of their old school. The important thing is that your child doesn’t feel like they are being plunged into the deep end.  

The best way to avoid this is to begin preparing your child early, ideally before they finish primary school. One good confidence-building exercise is to help your child visualise the end of their primary school years and see this as a celebration of their success.

Encourage them to look forward to their new chapter with confidence and see it as a new opportunity with endless possibilities.

2. Encourage your child to talk
Build your child’s confidence for the transition to secondary school by encouraging them to talk about how they feel. If your child feels that they are in control of the situation they are more likely to be confident.  

Spend the summer preparing with them and involve them in purchasing their new uniform, bag, sports kit etc. If you have the opportunity to get their books before term starts, why not take a look through them together, so you can see what the syllabi involve? 

When they become more relaxed about the idea of secondary school, make gentle enquiries as to their expectations and plans for it.  

Emphasise the positives of their new experience (e.g. they will continue to study their favourite primary school subjects), and talk to your child about what their next academic developments might be.  

Above all, listen to them carefully. If you sense that they are nervous or worried about particular scenarios, revisit these at different stages before September to ensure their fears ease.

3. Be there for them – especially early on
Day 1 is important as it can set the tone for the academic year to come. If it’s possible, consider taking some time off work around this time; if it’s not, be sure to engage with your children when you get home.

Ensure you have some 1:1 time with them to have quality conversations about their experiences. Look for positives, discuss any fears or challenges your child might have, and let them know you will be there for them whenever they need you.

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