How will you survive the Middle School Funny Business?
With an open heart and a willingness to accept the big changes that lie ahead!
And, coming together with other parents in your community.
If you’re in the Boulder or surrounding area, join us for a FREE event on how to create a smooth transition to middle school.
Together with the Parent Engagement Network  we’ve created an opportunity to bring your parking lot conversation inside, for free coffee and tips on how to not only survive middle school, but thrive.
What: FREE Coffee Talk: Transitioning into Middle School 
When: Tuesday, May 1st 6:30 – 7:30pm
Where: Louisville Alfalfa’s (Community Room, upstairs)
Why join us?
Because, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, your student passes through the copious rite-of-passage called adolescence, where teens require some freedom to build a tribe outside the family and uncover their unique gifts.
When you’re parenting a teen, it can be hard to let go and lose control.
In Part Three of Freaking Out about Transitioning into Middle School? Help is on the Way w e’re diving into the third Freak Out Factor, The Funny Business.
You’re certainly not alone as you prepare for those turbulent years, where it’s exciting to watch your kiddo grow into his / her own person, but hard to get a grasp on:
- Where your sweet little child has gone
- The strange new communication skills
- And, the wild world of social media
The Funny Business may be your most challenging Freak Out Factor because what you see may be very misleading.
Try to keep in mind that:
- the outside doesn’t always match the inside
- changes are so different for each kiddo
The Survival Guide and Tips are designed to help you Be Prepared, so you’re not caught off guard.
So, what can you do when you wonder … where has my sweet little child gone?
Use the emotional tug-o-war as an opportunity to show your kiddo:
- That fleeting emotions at this stage are normal
- It’s okay to feel vulnerable and talk about feelings
- There are constructive ways to divert that tough energy
- Acceptance and diversity are important when it comes to having a healthy body-image
If you’re finding the one-word answers or odd vocabulary – otherwise known as Strange Communication – somewhat annoying, take a minute to reflect on why it’s affecting you that way:
- How were you raised to speak to adults?
- What’s the motivating factor behind your kiddo telling a tall tale?
And, most importantly, remember that talking with your student will ultimately build his / her emotional vocabulary.
The Wild World of Social Media certainly adds an additional layer to parenting that can create a plethora of problems.
On the flip side, if done appropriately, it can also help your kiddo build their tribe outside the family.
If you’re planning to give your student a smart phone, I’d suggest setting up clear rules and boundaries and consistently following them.
This may sound easy, but these little devices can sometimes present a slippery-parenting-slope.
A few ideas to help you and your student establish a positive relationship around social media are:
- Establish clear family / house rules and what happens if those rules are broken
- Explain that your rules are coming from a loving and protective place
- Clarify that each family member’s rules may look a bit different based on behavior / needs
Ultimately, middle school is what I consider to be a form of “Resiliency Training.”
It may not feel that way at the time, but if you address the Freak Out Factors and apply the Survival Guide and Tips, you’ll recognize that you and your student are establishing positive communication and problem-solving patterns.
However, please reach out for support if you begin to notice dramatic changes in your kiddo, such as:
- Deprecating self-talk
- Trouble eating or sleeping
Parenting is a humbling job, especially during the teen years.
And, big transitions can be tough to move through.
If we come together, as a community, we’ll all feel more connected and supported.
If you haven’t read Part One or Two of this series, you may find these articles helpful:
- Fearful about the Middle School Transition? Help is here … Part One 
- Don’t Fear the Middle School Shenanigans and Villains! Try these simple Survival Tips  (Part Two)
What additional suggestions would you like to share on how to create a smooth transition to middle school?