Recently, my teen’s school counseling department offered invaluable advisement sessions. These one-on-one meetings with counselors are key checkpoints in our teens’ complex high school journey, setting the stage for the second half of the year. As parents, preparing and supporting our teens is pivotal for their educational and personal growth. Here’s how you can help your teen maximize these opportunities:

1. Understand the Counselor’s Role: Beyond class scheduling, counselors are resources for college and career planning, emotional support, and more. Familiarize yourself with their role to help your teen set realistic expectations for their sessions.

2. Encourage Open Communication: Teens may need help to express challenges and aspirations. Remind your child that counselors are there to help, not judge. Encourage honesty and open communication.

3. Set Goals Before the Meeting: Collaborate with your teen to outline short-term and long-term goals, making the session more productive and focused.

4. Prepare Specific Questions or Concerns: Help your teen compile a list of questions or concerns, ranging from college applications to specific academic challenges.

5. Discuss Post-Secondary Plans: Understand your teen’s interests regarding four-year colleges, community colleges, trade schools, or entering the workforce. Our assessment tool can help clarify career paths.

6. Review Academic Performance: Regularly review academic performance, discussing any patterns or concerns with your teen. This information is crucial for tailored advice.

7. Stay Informed About School Resources: Be aware of school resources like tutoring, college prep workshops, and career fairs to guide your teen effectively.

8. Attend Parent-Counselor Meetings: If possible, attend meetings with the counselor for additional insights and support for your teen.

9. Follow-Up After the Session: Discuss the session’s outcomes with your teen, reinforcing the importance of guidance and planning the next steps.

10. Encourage Independence and Responsibility: While involvement is crucial, encourage your teen to take responsibility for their academic journey, promoting independence and self-advocacy.

Remember, every teen’s journey is unique. Stay patient, supportive, and open-minded. Your involvement significantly impacts your teen’s high school experience and beyond.