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Aug 22, 2016 04:29 AM EDT

3 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Move Up To High School

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Transitioning to high school can be a daunting time for your teen. Parents should be there to support their kids but at the same time give them the freedom to stand on their own two feet for this new journey.

Patrick Akos, a professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who specializes in transitions and school counseling, said that new classmates, courses, teachers and expectations can be possible sources of anxiety for students moving up from middle school to high school. While the change may not seem drastic, parents should still prepare for an adjustment period for their teen.

"Imagine yourself starting a new job for the first time," he added. "Not knowing how things are, even though it's the same job - being a student - it's just different."

U.S. News shared three ways on how parents can help their kids as they transition to high school. Fathers and mothers need to expect that, while students may not respond to them as well as they used to in the past, their support is vital at this time.

1. Map out their day.

A lot of first-day stressors are often caused by logistics such as adjusting to a new bus route or finding one's way through the school. These can be easily eased by a visit to the institution days before school starts and helping your student find their classrooms. Akos also advised to go to the school's new student orientation day if it is available.

2. Encourage them to be involved.

High school is a great place for students to find their interests and passions. "Encourage your child to join a sport, club or activity," Jenny Michael, a language arts and ACT prep teacher at Seckman High School in Missouri, advised. "It will help with making friends and ease the transition process." It was also revealed that teens who are involved in extracurricular activities have the tendency to excel socially and academically.

3. Use positive language.

Parents should not add to the anxiety that your kid may be going through during the transition. Instead of intimidating them by saying, "You're going to have to do this differently or else you're going to fail," parents ought to use positive language like, "I know you're going to be able to handle this."

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