SMH, BTW, OMG, LOL … these are some of the thousands of abbreviations that our children now use when texting and online, especially those “tween and older” kids. Middle school is such a pivotal time for our youth. The kids are “stretching” their proverbial wings, but still need their PARENTAL UNITS to drive them to places they need to be. But as parents, we want and need to stay engaged in their education.
My oldest child continually told me that being 13 to 15 years old were the most evil of all ages. She declared that there was a “conspiracy” by adults to keep teenagers as children by allowing them “some young adult rights” but not the good ones (DRIVING). Ahhh….teenagers, you HAVE love them just so you won’t strangle them!
One of the few “young adult rights” to which she was referring was the ability to choose electives when entering middle school. Thousands of young Oklahoma 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will be given the opportunity to choose elective classes for the first time in their lives. It’s a BIG deal to them, but as parents, it’s also our responsibility to help guide them into making these decisions.
Also, kids are moving away from keeping all their books and belongings in a desk to a locker. ‘Mom, um, I need you to sign this because I forgot my locker combination, and um, I didn’t turn in my first assignment in my pre-algebra class.” Yes, this happened to me and my youngest daughter. Remembering a locker combination is HUGE.
I recently read an article published on SchoolFamily.com. that shared some great tips for parents of children beginning middle school called, “Moving Up to Middle School.” Please take a few minutes to read the article. Also on this webpage are “Related Content” articles that also have great tips.
Just remember, they don’t stay middle school age forever. Even though these years can be stressful and taxing, these were phenomenal years. I watched my girls becoming young women and they amazed me on a daily basis. We cried, laughed, argued, and even sulked during these years. I now have two amazing adult daughters that I could not be prouder of; even though we were unsure any of us would survive the middle school years!
-Melodie Fulmer, Executive Director, Parent and Community Engagement