Don’t Fear the Middle School Shenanigans and Villains! Try these simple Survival Tips

Are you and your student freaking out about the pecking order, social villains and possible locker room shenanigans?

It’s easy to let your imagination run wild during a big transition.

That’s why we’re covering the 3 Biggest Freak Out Factors with specific tips on how to survive so you and your student don’t get overwhelmed.

In Part Two of Freaking Out about Transitioning into Middle School? Help is on the Way … we’re covering the second Freak-Out Factor, The Friend Drama. 

There’s a lot of jockeying in middle school, especially in the 6th grade, to determine where your student fits in.

And, middle school opens the doors to a new social scene, that can be equally exhilarating, exhausting and distracting.

It can be challenging to block out the cool kids, rumors, flirting and tribal unrest and focus on learning and personal development.

So, what’s the cure to middle school friend drama – learning how to Navigate the Turbulence.

Try these simple Survival tips.

  • It’s Tribe Building Time – As tough as it may be, it’s time to recognize how important it is for your student to establish a tribe outside the family. The size of the tribe doesn’t matter, what’s important is identifying what qualities are important in a friendship and what it means to be a good friend.


  • Popularity and Pecking Order – You’re going to hear the word “popular” more often. Author Lisa Damour, Ph.D., in her book untangled, guiding teenage girls through the seven transitions into adulthood, defines teenage popularity in terms of Socio-metric Popularity and Perceived Popularity (p.51). You may find these definitions helpful conversation starters as you explore what the word popular really means to your student.


  • Social Media Discord – The smart phone adds a complex layer of parenting we’re all still trying to figure out. The one area I’d suggest spending some time on is setting healthy boundaries with your student and consistently enforcing the rules you’ve agreed on.


  • Who’s the Go-To Support Person? – Just like eating fruits and veggies regularly, you’ll want to remind your student that support is available. It’s crucial to have a safe and supportive person to go to. I’d suggest asking your student to identify a peer and an adult they will turn to when they need someone to listen.

If you’re just joining this conversation and haven’t read the previous articles about creating a smooth transition to middle school, I think you’ll find these helpful:

Freaking Out about Transitioning into Middle School? Help is on the Way …


Fearful about the Middle School Transition? Help is here … Part One

Or, if you’d prefer to come together with parents in your community and you’re in the Boulder or surrounding area grab a spot for this free Coffee Talk: Transitioning to Middle School offered in collaboration with the Parent Engagement Network.

The Details:

What: Free Coffee Talk: Transitioning to Middle School

When: Tuesday, May 1st 6:30 – 7:30pm

Where: Louisville Alfalfa’s (Community Room, upstairs)

The Parent Engagement Network’s Mission is to Support Parents in Raising Healthy, Happy Youth. Recognizing parents ask the key to building strong families with thriving youth since 2001. If you’d like more information on PEN and the Events they offer, please visit their website:

Transitions can be challenging.

Resilience needs connection to thrive.

Let’s come together and create that environment in our community.

If you have any specific questions, please post them here.

Chances are, you’re not the only parent looking for answers or suggestions to a tough issue.



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Posted in: Your Teen’s Education