It's been years since you were in middle school and now that your child is preparing to start his or her middle school adventures, it might be worth your time to understand what your child's middle school life is going to be like. If you know what to expect in the next few years you might be in a better position to help your child deal with any challenges, and make the most of opportunities.
What Middle School Life is Really Like for Tweens
Middle School is Frustrating: There are so many changes taking place in your child's life during the middle school years, it's no wonder tweens became frustrated from time to time. Puberty can make your child's social life awkward and even self-confident children may become self-conscious or worried about body changes and sexual development. In addition, pressure from parents, teachers and others can overwhelm even the most capable of children. Tweens can feel peer pressure from friends and school mates and that could prompt them to act out, or try dangerous behaviors such as smoking, or drinking. Trapped between being a child and a teenager, your child is likely to find the next few years periodically frustrating as he or she figures out how to behave, interact with friends and bullies, and consider life beyond middle school.
Middle School is Confusing: In middle school things can change in the blink of an eye. Your child may find that long lasting friendships end suddenly and without explanation. New friendships may pop up out of nowhere and social status can change overnight. Confusing, to say the least. If your child comes home from school a bit frazzled or grumpy, it's probably because he's trying to sort through the day and make sense of all that happened. Of course, academic challenges can also make life confusing and frustrating for a child, making it all the more important to stay on top of your child's school work and intervene should he or she fall behind.
Middle School is Difficult: Academic pressure usually increases in middle school as teachers and parents expect more out of students in order to prepare them for high school. Middle school students should make every effort to make academics a priority, in order to establish solid study habits before entering high school. It's also important to note that middle schoolers often feel pressure to take high school courses while still in middle school, in order to give them a running start on high school requirements. Many middle schoolers are ready for advanced courses in middle school, but others are not. It's important to know if your child is ready for these courses, or if he's be better off waiting to take them when he's in high school.
Middle School is Isolating: Middle school has a way of making many children feel isolated or lonely, even if they have a lot of friends. The uncertainty of friendships and volatile social challenges can be a lot to deal with. But if your tween has other issues of concern, such as a learning disability, or family problems, that can make things even more challenging for a child who just wants to fit in.
Middle School is Fun: There are a lot of issues to contend with during the middle school years, but the truth is middle school can also be a lot of fun. Middle school clubs, teams, and other opportunities will help your child develop interests for high school and beyond. As your child matures you'll be more likely to give him opportunities to show his newfound independence -- a little at a time.