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How can I help my teen make the leap from high school to CEGEP?

Written by: Nanny Secours

August 11, 2017


This year, going back to school will be different. Your child is about to embark on a major step in their academic career: making the transition from high school to CEGEP! To some, this is just a formality, part of going to school, a prerequisite for becoming an adult. However, it’s more than just that.

More than just an academic transition!

Transitioning from high school to CEGEP requires a teen to make changes to both their academic and personal life in order to maintain a balance. Although teens are in that stage where they think they’re independent and self-sufficient, they’re not quite cognitively or emotionally ready to be considered adults. They’re not yet able to think about the future and make choices that will significantly impact their life.

For your child to grow and develop normally, it’s important that you respect their need for independence and space by letting them have their own experiences and make choices that correspond to their values and beliefs, but also by giving them the opportunity to experiment with the newfound freedom that comes from going to CEGEP! That being said, it has been shown that providing academic help and support (French only) to your child can make for a successful transition from high school to CEGEP.

Some tips for supporting your teen

Here are some tips on how you, as a parent, can help your teen in their transition:

  • Be there for your teen
    Instead of being bossy or giving lectures, listen and communicate. Let them know that you’re there for them, that you’re open and available to listen. Although your teen really wants to be independent, they still need that feeling of security they get from those close to them. Take some time to listen to their fears and concerns and encourage them to share their feelings with you and tell you how their day went. Just be there for them.

  • Let them make mistakes
    We all want the best for our children, which is why we tend to impose our views, values, and dreams on them. However, children learn the most by making their own mistakes and then begin to develop the strategies they need in life to adapt to different situations and solve problems. Let your teen choose their own path, make mistakes, and experience failure. Be a supportive parent and help them recover and get back on track!

  • Give them the opportunity to find themselves
    A teen’s lack of motivation can make it hard for them to fit in once they reach CEGEP. Many young adults end up enrolled in a general program because when they applied for admission, they had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives, but also because at 16 or 17, most teens are still trying to find their own identities. They need to find themselves, discover what interests them and what they're passionate about.

As a parent, make your teen’s search easier by exposing them to experiences that will help develop their skills and let them explore new areas of interest!

Remember that a motivated and interested student will be more invested in their studies.

 

Cynthia Cusson, Special Education Teacher

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