After an evening presentation to a group of Grade 11 parents last week during which we laid out the roadmap for current 11th graders as they navigate the IB, the college search, the essays, the Internal Assessments, the Mock exams, the college applications, the SAT prep, the SAT exams, the decisions, the deadlines, the co-curricular options, the need for balance, the need to take responsibility, the need to stay close as a family, and the need to breathe…..parents were asked to offer a word or phrase to capture how they (the parents) felt at that moment.
“It’s confusing”, said one parent.
These 16 year olds who will turn 17 as Grade 11 students are setting out on an incredibly intense course of activity over the coming months. They join thousands of other young people at this impressionable age in taking charge of the list above. This week they start that process with the PSAT exam and their first quarter progress report for Grade 11. This is a first glance at how many of them are achieving in the IB Diploma Program. The fun begins. Parents must find ways to support and bolster their child during these challenging times. Kids need parental support. Being informed of the challenges and the roadmap that lies ahead for kids is really important for parents. The stress, anxiety, and pressure is very real and must be managed. Parents are critical to the management of the challenges.
Apart from the intensity of school responsibilities, most Grade 11 students are begging for more freedom from their parents. Extended curfews, more freedom to roam on Friday evenings, greater privileges are requested. Parents must navigate these difficult and challenging parental decisions. Its’ not easy, in fact, it’s confusing. Most parents are often in some form of negotiation with their kids. It is part of parenting and part of navigating the teenage years. It’s important.
When this parent used the word confusing, however, I read into his response another source of confusion. It’s confusing parenting 16 year olds. It’s confusing parenting a 16 year old child Continue reading