Planet Middle School
by Kevin Leman
– Kids from the ages 11 to 13 are in this middle school and it is a very difficult time of life because of puberty and their hormones are up-and-down.
During the time of middle school, remember the acronym EGRS.
E – extra.
Expect there could be a mood swings and difficulties, you will need to be patient.
G – grace.
Give them room to grow and change. They may act like they hate their sibling one moment and love them the next.
R – required.
Remember what your own middle school years were like. How you did your hair and dressed and how are your moods were.
S – sometimes.
Sift through what has been said and how they have acted and realize there was a root problem, it is not that they hate you. A wise parent will listen and help find the root of the problem. A wise parent will not engage in fighting.
– There are times when you need to butt-in and other times when you need to butt-out and the discernment of when to do this is not easy. You are the best teacher that your children have during these years, even if you do not realize that. Be there for them.
– If you want to be part of your child’s life but they are acting awkward and do not let you in, try to be creative so that they let you in. Make a good meal and invite their friends over. Do something fun that your child will want to invite others to.
– Teach your child about how to respectfully handle a bully.
– They can want to act like a little child at one moment and act grown-up the next moment — that is middle school.
– When your child does not tell you anything, remember they’re trying to get their independence. Teach them and help them, but be patient with them.
– Middle schoolers are super-sensitive about everything, especially criticism… and especially from you. They trust you and need you so be cautious not to criticize or laugh at them. They have all kinds of things running through their mind, like: do my mom and dad love me, accept me, like me, find me worthy, think I am weird, etc.?
– The middle school world is a dog-eat-dog world so that is all the reason more why they need you as a parent not to judge them or criticize them rather to be there for them.
– Find an activity or hobby that your middle schooler can get involved in. This will occupy their mind and keep them busy.
– Focus on your child. The middle school years will pass and so will those silly styles and moods. Keep loving your child and being there for them.
– Your child wants more than anything to be long, so let them feel accepted by you always. If you do not accept them, they will find a group that does.
– Be careful about just adamantly saying no to what they ask because you might get a defiant spirit that way. Tell them a reason or show them so they are convinced themselves.
– The atmosphere at home depends on you as a parent.
– What kids really want from their parents: show me, don’t tell me; help me; encourage me; spend time with me.
– Your child needs you to be their parent, not just their friend.
– If you want your child to be kind, then exemplify kindness. If you want your child to be organized, then be organized yourself. If you want your child to be accountable, then show accountability. Whatever you want your child to be, simplify it and expect it.
– The top three needs that your child needs are to be wanted, to be needed and to be respected.
– Kids who eat together as a family usually have better grades, stronger family ties, self confidence and better communication skills.