Jul 12, 2018
The middle school years are a tough transition for many students. By taking concrete steps to stay on top of your child’s changing needs and worries, parents (and tutors) can help smooth their transition.
Making the move to middle school is a trying time for all involved. For students, the pain points are understandable: a new school environment, potentially with a new student population, with the different social interactions (and woes) of adolescent life.
Consequently, parents face their own struggle as well, as their children make the leap from elementary to middle school. Many students will likely be anxious due to the dramatic changes around them, and parents will need to adjust to help students become more resilient and self-reliant.
Parents can help their kids make the transition as painless as possible by getting involved in a number of ways:
Middle school poses plenty of challenges for young scholars, in part due to the greater expectations on them academically as they approach high school. Other factors include increasing use of electronics (the ever-present smartphone), changes in friendships, and new challenges including bullying and self-image problems.
To ensure their children aren’t succumbing to the new stressors, parents can utilize the tools available to them to monitor their children’s academic performance. Many middle schools have online management systems that enable parents to track their children’s progress. It’s an ideal tool for tutors, too, who can assist parents in supporting their children’s academic performance in middle school.
A large part of middle school angst arises from the newfound social pressures – changing cliques, new social patterns and class schedules. Fitting into the school environment takes active participation: encourage your children to explore opportunities to join a sports team or after-school activity at the school or elsewhere. Extracurriculars are an easy way to expand social circles and participate in school and community life.
It’s important that parents talk about social pressures openly and in a kind, understanding manner. Middle schoolers may be anxious when discussing their lives at school and require some gentle prodding to share. A healthy line of communication is essential to allaying that anxiety or other issues that your child may be facing.
Build up Resilience
Middle schoolers are experiencing one of life’s first major milestones, as they transition from childhood to adolescence and the approaching challenges of early adulthood. Encourage children to find their own voice when expressing their concerns to teachers and others at school. Parents should always be ready to intervene where necessary, especially if their children are finding it difficult to cope in a particular situation.
The bottom line is: stay involved. By working with your child actively and openly, you can minimize the stress experienced by all involved. Middle school is rarely an easy time for any child. With the right attitude on the part of parents and students, a strong dialogue can smooth over the transition’s more difficult challenges.