With another school year coming to a close, kids and parents alike anticipate and plan for those action-packed, fun-filled weeks of summer. But if you have a child entering middle school in the fall, this summer is also a pivotal time to prepare for the transition to a whole new world of learning.
Moving from elementary to middle school brings so many changes. There’s a new campus to navigate, new students and teachers to interact with, a new school routine to learn, more homework to juggle, a different social dynamic to adapt to — the list goes on and on.
Luckily, summer presents the perfect opportunity for moms (even busy working moms) to help their children assuage their fears and develop the confidence, work ethic, skills, and mindset necessary to succeed in middle school.
What to Expect in Middle School
Advancing to middle school brings a whole slew of new opportunities and adventures. However, getting used to middle school can pose unique challenges.
Middle schoolers are expected to be more self-regulating than in previous years. A major objective of middle school is helping kids develop the skills they’ll need to succeed in high school and the world beyond — skills like managing their time, complying with rules, and meeting deadlines.
The social paradigm shifts in middle school as well. Many middle schools are made up of kids from multiple elementary schools, which means opportunities to form new and lasting friendships. But it can also translate to more social confusion as kids seek new groups with which they can connect.
And yes, all of this is happening as your child begins the transition into puberty. Changing hormone levels bring fluctuating emotions, self-confidence issues, and rebellious behavior, which really turns this stage into a wild ride for the whole family. But with the right attitude, patience, guidance, and support from you, the move to middle school can be easier for everyone.
Helping Your Middle Schooler With the Transition
Sometimes, working moms worry about balancing all this with their responsibilities at the office, but you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. If you’re deliberate and consistent about it, prepping your child for middle school can happen in small moments in time.
Here are a few ideas to get you started this summer:
1. Give your child a chance to fail. One of the best things you can do for your soon-to-be middle schooler is let him or her make mistakes. When things go awry, instead of swooping in to save the day, offer to talk through the situation with your child. Discuss what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and what he or she learned. This will set your child up to problem solve independently — a vital skill in middle school and beyond.
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