How to Build a Great Parent-High School Student Relationship

Posted by JoAnn Gigliotti on February 22, 2016

It’s happening right before your eyes, the little boy or girl you’ve raised all these years is suddenly becoming a young adult. Gone are the days where Barbie’s and Matchbox Cars dominated their after school activities; replaced by college prep classes, after school jobs, and a parent’s worst fear, the dreaded freedom of a driver’s license! Homework is suddenly hard enough that you aren’t always the best resource, and when it comes to talking about their day, getting anything but a sentence out of them will be like pulling teeth. It can be hard for parents to remain connected to their child’s day-to-day activities once they hit high school. So exactly how are parents supposed to juggle this newly complicated relationship? Here are a few tips from experts that are sure to make things easier on everyone.


Respect Their Privacy….to a Degree: Typically, a high school student’s bedroom is their sanctuary and it is very healthy for you to allow your child their own “safe zone” as they go through the rollercoaster ride that is high school, but keep this information in mind:

  • It should be your goal to let them have this privacy—but do so at a rate you are comfortable with.
  • Pay attention to their habits, and who they are spending the majority of their time with—high school students, tend to fall into crowds so it is important that you make sure they are falling into the right one.
  • Have meaningful conversations with your children—every day, pick a time to talk about how school, sports, and life in general is going for them. Use your parental instinct to know if and when you need to become more involved.


Sometimes It’s Best to Just Listen: It’s only natural for you to want to offer your best advice at every single twist and turn of your high school student’s life, but also:


  • Realize there is such thing as the right time and wrong time for advice— high Schooler’s have a funny way of thinking that no one else has ever felt how they are currently feeling (good or bad). Rebutting every point they make with how you would have handled things could result in a disconnect that could potentially cause serious implications.
  • Sometimes it’s best to just let them speak their mind and get certain things off their chest—guide them towards the right way of thinking about things without telling them exactly what to do.


Remember, it’s important you remain your teens confidant; not only will it make you closer as they age, it’ll allow you to be as involved in their day-to-days lives as much as possible without giving off the sense that you are intruding. And remember, the teachers, staff and family coaches here at Agora are always here to help!

Keep checking back to the myAgora Blog page for more helpful tips and information!