• How to Parent a Middle Schooler

     

     

    Middle school is a time of change: changing bodies, awareness, friends and attitudes. It may feel at times like you’ve joined your child on an adolescent emotional roller coaster. However, keep focused on what really matters- loving your child.

     

    Keep talking to your child. It may have been easier when they were younger, but now more than ever, it’s important that you continue to communicate. Start small, talk about everyday stuff and let conversations develop into those tougher topics.

     

    Do things together. Kids are more likely to open up if you’re working on something else: baking, cleaning garage, running errands. Middle-school insecurity makes it hard for them to reveal themselves, therefore work on something together to alleviate the pressure.

     

    Ask their opinion, let them finish their sentences. Try not to interrupt, or give advice if it isn’t wanted. Listen more and ask more.

     

    Stay clam. Avoid the urge to “fix” their problems . Instead, listen and provide sensible coping strategies and perspective. Encourage them to handle their own “crisis”.

     

    Give your child downtime and don’t over-schedule them. Middle schoolers get very stressed. Allow them time to do whatever relaxes them. Limit after-school activities to one or two. Made sure he keeps his school materials and homework organized. They probably won’t like it but the good grades and reports will decrease the stress.

     

    Set boundaries. Let them complain, that’s just too bad. Structure and limits are important for their well being and development. Realize that they might think you are ruining their life, but they really know you care and after about 10 minutes they will be asking you to take them somewhere.

     

    Keep a level head when the first low grade comes home. Help get those subjects organized, regroup and encourage them to seek help from their teachers. Look for remedies, not penalties.

     

    Try to stay up on their peer group. Friends will change rapidly, but try to meet everyone they’re interacting with and find out something about them. That way if there is a problem you can give better advice because you have that connection.

     

    Keep letting your child know you value and love him. Praise them for the good things that are done.

     

    When all else fails, keep reminding yourself “this too shall pass”. It will be OK, they will grow out of this stage, they will be that loving child you once knew.

     

     

     

Last Modified on August 5, 2020