Being actively involved in a child's education: Middle School to High School

This is an age where most kids don't want their parent any where near them, but it is important your presence is still felt.

1. Volunteer- Respecting your pre-teen or teen can still be accomplished while being involved. I had one friend who volunteered to speak in her son's history class on Colombian culture as part of Latino/a history month. While being introduced and then presenting she did not acknowledge herself as a parent to any child in the class. She was able to be in involved without 'embarrassing' her son. Older children mean more opportunities to share your personal story or expertise. 

2. Be present- Know the different events at the school or around the neighborhood. Being up to date on a teens activities goes a long way. The local community centers or libraries almost always have events in and around the neighborhood posted. Being proactive not only shows your engagement with a child but allows you to plan and budget ahead of time.

3. Activities- A lot of people associate bonding/quality time with babies. Asserting independence and need for autonomy does not equate to a complete hands off approach. During my high school years in December and again in May my mother met me after school for just an afternoon of 'us time'. Usually it was on a half day and we would meet for lunch and just talk. I have heard other parents plan similar dates with their teens. One mom plays hooky with her teen once a school year and they go to an amusement park

These things take work to implement, most of the time I have to plan well in advance to get time off. This sometimes means picking up an extra shift or two to offset the money lost on that day. But with advanced planning all of these things can be done!