Monday, December 5, 2016

10 Tips for Teens' Parents to Survive Middle School

The number one way to survive middle school is with humor, and lots of it. As soon as they walk in the doors they gain a new type of strange humor akin to the Three Stooges, and Beevis rolled together. Every dumb thing is funny and every funny thing ( to other humans) is just not funny.

This brings me to number two, Spend time with the middle school kids. The sooner you can imitate them and decipher their strange code, the sooner you can begin relating to your child again. Take one on one trips to buy jeans, school supplies, new haircuts, lunch, ice cream – anything to get some face time with your changing kid. They do still want the attention, they’ll just stop asking for it.


The third survival technique is giving positive attention. As I mentioned, they want attention, and lots of it. They are now smaller fish in a bigger sea so 1:1 time with anyone is rare. Use the time in positive ways, nagging 75% of the time will get you 98% further away from your kids.


The fourth is picking your battles. To stay positive, you just have to pick the important battles. They develop hearing “problems” also known as selective hearing. That being said, when you have their attention use it to drive home the most important issues.


The fifth is knowing what issues are vital to their success. Turning in work on time is number one. If they can master that than they will succeed. So much work is counted as an A if turned in or a zero if not. Many schools allow 1/2 a grade if it is a day late. It becomes insane trying There are several ways to know what work is due when so here is number six.


The sixth way to succeed middle school is knowing how to track assignments and test dates. Students are typically required to write them in an agenda or log each day. Many students become masters at only writing in enough to convince you they do it, but not so ,much that they have to do 2 hours of homework each night. Inspect inspect inspect and have some back up resources.


The seventh success is learning your other resources for assignments. Your student should have the phone number of 1-2 friends in each class to compare details with. Parents should have teacher emails, teacher website addresses and a few parents to compare notes with as well. Such as, “Hi Natalia, do you know if the kids have any big tests or projects coming up in Science class?” Teach the kids not to be afraid to use their resources.


The eighth tip is finding resources to assist with the work. Do you remember how to find the volume of an irregular shaped object? If water displacement didn’t jump out at you than like many, you’ll need others to assist with tutoring the kids. I really never liked converting inches to millimeters, finding prime factors, reducing fractions, or learning algebra formulas, but give me a five paragraph essay to proof and I am in heaven. Know your strengths and enlist siblings, adults, homework helplines, or even find answers on the Internet to answer questions you are not familiar with. Empowering students to find their own resources will make them even better learners. They get easily frustrated at this age so make sure they find the answers somewhere.


The ninth is following up. These kids can be asked twelve ways if something is complete and say yes yes yes until you ask the 13th way specifically asking if the teacher ever received the work and find out they did not. Papers are left in lockers, left on the bus, and usually on the table they completed the work on. Enforce habits to put work in subject folders ready to hand in. View on-line grade-books many schools offer, they can even send you an email when a paper is late or has a failing grade. Email the teachers if you smell trouble and keep the lines open. These kids need to be checked up on or they feel lost. They are happy to know you care and they measure your love this way too.


The tenth is obvious to me. Make certain they know they are loved. They won’t want you to post it on Facebook – ( which is another issue all together), but say it every day, hug them as they go by, and take a minute to listen to them. No one at school is listening for very long. They talk over each other at lunch, and then come home to lots more homework. The stories they tell are funny, they’ll make no sense, and even your younger kids will think them insane. Enjoy them for who they are and try to understand the explosion of hormones racing through them as they grow inches by the month. They’ll soon be taller than you, so look them in the eye now, and just say I love you!


Labels: 10 Tips for Teens' Parents to Survive Middle School

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