Teens and Middle School
The transition to middle school is a major life event for parents and youth.
Students worry about:
- Getting to class on time;
- Finding lockers, classes, and bathrooms;
- Keeping up with the work; and
- Getting through the crowded halls.
Students may also be struggling with concerns about:
- Aggressive or violent behavior from other students;
- Less connection with their parents;
- Less free time;
- Attractiveness and peer status;
- Physical development differences between males and females;
- Increasing peer pressure;
- Development changes associated with puberty;
- Increased parental expectations; and
- More responsibility.
All of this is normal and the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk about your feelings, fears, and thoughts with your friends, family, parents, or other caring adults. You are not alone – other youth your age are dealing with these same concerns.
Harriet Mosatche & Karen Unger, (2000).Too Old for This, Too Young for That: Your Survival Guide for the Middle-School Years. Free Spirit Publishing, Minneapolis, MN
Laura Sessions Stepp (2000). Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence. Riverhead Books, New York, NY.
Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence (2000) by Laura Sessions Stepp is a wonderful guide to help parents who are trying to help young children navigate early adolescence and chose a path that will lead to healthy, responsible adulthood. Ms. Sessions Stepp introduces us to twelve ten-to-fifteen year-olds and their families from different places around the country. While reading about these families, most people are likely to see something they can relate to, as a child, or a parent. Her advice is practical and can be easily tailored to your particular situation. In general, she says early adolescence is partly about loss. We are losing our children, they are losing their innocence, but they are gaining a stronger sense of who they are, and we are offered front row seats. Ms. Sessions Stepp encourages parents to:
- Let go, but stay in touch
- Treat them with respect
- Give them responsibility
- Share them with other adults
- Introduce them to the spiritual
- Don't stop playing with them
- Sip from their cup
- Accept them
- Own up to your mistakes
- Give them constancy
- Manage your fears
- Nurture friendships
- Encourage learning by doing
- Stay engaged
- Count them in
- Relax a little
- Pay attention to, and enjoy, the details
Reprinted with the permission of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. 2008 Palo Alto Medical Foundation. All rights reserved.
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