Uh oh! My kid is going into middle school this coming Fall! I don’t know what to expect and I have heard horror stories of girl drama, boy/girl relationship drama, parent/child drama. Drama! Drama! Drama! HELP!
Remember that precious baby in your arms who you kissed and cuddled as much as you could? Remember sitting with them reading books and watching cartoons? Remember taking them to the park and pushing them in the swing for hours on end? Remember?
Now, all of a sudden, this precious child prefers to spend more time texting their friends and looking at their screens than have a conversation talking with you. They don’t want you to kiss and cuddle them anymore; especially in front of others. They can read their own books and have their own shows they want to watch without you sitting in the same room. Heck! They probably have their own t.v! Now, they meet their friends at a park or in a mall and just want you to drop them off and pick them up.
Being in middle school is quite the awkward transition for both kids and parents. All of a sudden, they seem to have an attitude, become extremely independent (whether they are ready or not for that) and seem to rather argue with their parents and siblings than try to get along. Their bodies are changing and so are their attitudes. What’s a parent to do?
The pressure on these kids is immense as they try to keep their grades up with a changing brain, meet the demands of their parents, teachers, and peers. There is a huge pressure through media and peers to begin to have boy/girl relationships and that can spin them into depression, sexual activity and drama with friends.
Now, add the pressures of a family going through a divorce and their entire world, as they knew it, is shattering and they don’t know where they fit in or IF they fit in. Mom and Dad are fighting, there are court dates, huge loyalty issues and life is just sad for them. They begin to act out in anger, but under all that angry behavior is a huge amount of hurt; depression, abandonment, betrayal, fear, and trust issues.
We, as adults, seem to merely look at the behavior, make judgments and put more pressure on them, instead of just listening and trying to understand what they are living. Like I always say, “The more I listen, the more I learn.” Listen WAAAAAY more than you talk, as an adult, and you will hear their heart.
This Tuesday on Chained No More, you will hear Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna, co-authors of “Middle School…The Inside Story…What Kids Tell Us but Don’t Tell YOU.” They will discuss the issues mid-schoolers deal with every day and will also give family members practical tools to connect with their middle schooler and help those kids walk through this awkward stage of growing up. Please tune in at 2-3pm ET (8-8-17) at www.toginet.com.
You can download the podcast at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore later that day.
If you are a parent of a mid-schooler, take a deep breath and realize that your child is not exempt from this part of development, but you certainly can help them through it with the right tools. You will make it and so will they. Focus in. Put your screens down and listen to the heart of your child.