Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on August 25th, 2013

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I woke up this morning the parent of a high schooler, now what?

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Today is Monday, August 26, 2013. It marks a landmark day for me and my oldest daughter, Sydney. Today Sydney is officially a high school student. So that means today I am officially the Mom of a high schooler! I don't know where the time has gone because it hardly seems possible that this is happening! But, it is and I have to face it.

So, this new milestone has me wondering what the next four years will bring. What kind of new things will we have to deal with, what does the future hold for her as well as what things are expected of me at this stage?

Technology in 2013 brings advantages to parents as well as students. We have online grade books, something we have actually had since she started middle school 4 years ago. But in high school, she will have her own log-in to the system and can monitor her grades as much or as little as she chooses. Which, knowing Sydney, will be borderline obsessive. See she has all Honors Classes and is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to grades (if nowhere else, like say keeping her room clean - but that's another post). This year we will actually get digital report cards as well if we so choose.

Another advantage we have is online assignment lists. Makes it kind of hard to forget your homework assignments if you can look it up online. Not to mention, in most instances they have access to online versions of their textbooks so they don't have to rupture discs in their backs carrying those books home.

A key advantage for us as parents is that she can have her phone on her at all times versus having to stow it in her locker. This doesn't concern me, as she is responsible with it. And it means a bit of peace of mind for us as we have all read too many news reports about school invasions and shootings, etc. However, I do see where it could be a problem for teachers with kids with smartphones cheating on tests, etc. Heck, it doesn't even have to be a smartphone, if they can text they can get the answer from someone in seconds if they choose.

High school and advancing in teen years brings with it other concerns for parents. More parties, teen driving, more freedom, dating, etc. Now don't even get me started on driving. Sydney is an older freshman, so she could take drivers ed THIS YEAR! Nope, I am not ready to let her loose on all you innocent folks in the area, so don't panic! Dating is another story. Some may say I am biased, but if you have seen our daughter you understand why her brother needs to patrol the house with his bat when boys come around in flocks! Parties mean the potential for exposure to drugs, alcohol and unsavory characters. We choose to utilize "find my iPhone" which is an app to monitor her whereabouts as we see fit. She knows about it, and while she may not like it, she knows she has no choice.

So, while I am sure there are plenty of things we will encounter that we haven't even started to consider, I think elements of technology will help us navigate the journey easier. If you are an experienced parent of a teenager/high schooler feel free to offer your words of wisdom. If you are like me, a first-time parent of a high schooler, we can commiserate together. Feel free to share your worries here. For me, I would say you made a safe assumption if you thought that a martini will be in my hand on Sunday night and possibly Monday as well! Wish me luck!