As the mom of three I felt like a pro. I can easily juggle homework, dinner, a couple sports leagues and a toddler at the same time so it should not be a big deal to have a middler schooler, right? Boy, was I wrong! Middle school is such a new world for the child and the parents. There are so many new hurdles and things your Middle School Student needs to know. I thought I would share some middle school tips.
- Practice Kindness –Yes, I know that sounds cliche and something they should already know at this point but their social circles expand greatly when they reach middle school and sometimes the simple lessons are forgotten in hopes of fitting in.
- Be the defender – Not always easy to do at this age but I have spoken many times with my children about this through their lives. Everyone is different and some of us have struggles that are not easily spoken of. Do not be the child who teases someone because they look different, dress different, smell different instead be the one who tells others to stop it. Be friendly to the child who NEEDS you. And if you just can’t bring yourself to do it then at the very minimum do NOT under any circumstance participate in teasing. Come to your parents for ways to handle the situation. One mechanism we have given our son is to distract the bullies away from the child by being silly, telling a joke or bringing up a question about an assignment.
- Be organized – Middle school teachers do not hold your hand to make sure you turn in your work. You need to write down assignments in detail, including the due date. Do not wait until the last minute to do projects.
- Time Management – This skill is so important for your future! When you are in College and then employed you will need to be an expert at time management. Middle school is an increase in workload and responsibility. Look ahead at those assignments you wrote down and use any free evenings you have to read over notes for an upcoming test or get ahead of homework. This will make the heavy homework nights so much less stressful! We invested in a small laptop bag for our son to carry to classes. He was having a hard time with his huge backpack and now is much more organized with the smaller bag.
- Self-Advocate – It is not always easy but you must learn to self-advocate and talk to your teachers. Missed some notes in class? Don’t wait until it’s time to study for that test, let the teacher know right away to keep from falling behind. Don’t understand the assignment for this evening? Speak with your teacher before the end of class. My son has a free period and is lucky to have teachers who allow him to come to them and work on things he needs to do during that time.
- Relationships are difficult – my middle school son has had a few relationships with girls at this point. Seeing one another at school, going to a school dance together, talking on the phone, and sitting together at lunch have been the extent of the time together so far. He happens to also have a phone and one “girlfriend” texted him. We made sure to remind him that anything he said to her in text would easily be shared with whoever she pleased and would be there forever. There is no taking back a text once it is out there.
- Never hit a girl – Middle school relationships are blossoming and can be difficult. We have taught our sons their whole lives not to hit a girl and have been sure to remind our middle school son of this. They are to put their hands in their pockets, smile and walk away and then find a responsible adult to discuss the situation with. If that means going to the school office and calling me then that is fine.
- Find a good friend or two – Be careful because not everyone is really your friend. Pick a club or a sport and get to know a small group of kids really well. Understand that you can have different levels of friendship. There will be people you enjoy hanging around and are friendly with and there will be people you know you can trust. Look hard for those you can trust and stay loyal to those friends.
These are just a few of the very important tips your middle school student needs to know. You know your child best and will be able to fill in as you go along more specific things.
I would love if you would share with us some of the tips you have given your middle school student or wish you had!