5 Tips to a successful middle school transition
Meet my handsome middle schooler, Isaiah J. Stevenson. He is a soon to be 12-year-old, who just finished his first year of middle school. I love this young man like crazy, but he give me a run for my money. It’s been a tough year for the both of us, emotionally and physical, but I’m happy to report that we are both still ALIVE.
Often times we focus on the babies, because they’re so innocent and sweet, or we spend time lecturing our rebellious teenager’s who decided that the rules no longer apply to them. Rarely do we find much written, stated or talked about for our transitioning middle school babies. Our babies, who are leaving elementary school and embarking on a new journey that they know nothing about. These middle schoolers often struggle in more ways than one, searching for their own voice, fighting to be accepted by peers, and tipping the fence on all the goodness that puberty has to offer.
While there are no set road maps to master parenting a middle schooler, here are 5 tips I can offer parents that worked for my son:
- A little less talking and little more listening.
During the elementary school, we spend so much time scolding and molding our children that we forget in middle school that they actually have voices. So, the next time something is happening with your middle schooler, pause and listen to what he or she has to say. It may be valuable for you both.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss the big P (Puberty)
As their bodies change, don’t be afraid to have open dialog and explain what’s going on. It’s important that they hear it from you first rather that the friend at school.
- Give opportunity to make mistakes
They are going to mess up, over and over and over again. However it’s important that you remain calm, cool and collected. Remember their watching your responses and while scolding may have worked in elementary school, it may not work as they start their new journey.
- Set appropriate boundaries
It is important during this time that parents set good boundaries. As much as we may think they will rebel, they are also looking to see how much of the waters can be tested.
I’m a firm believer that prayer changes everything, so in all things we must pray. I think this a key component of my journey as a parent. Praying with my son and for my son is the key to us making it through the year. Whatever your spiritual belief, ensure that that this is being discovered together.