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Old 08-22-2007, 01:07 PM
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Just Starting Middle School

My daughter is just beginning 6th grade this year. It is in a K-8 building but grades 6 through 8 have a "middle school" type setup with change of classes, different uniform, etc.

If you've had a child go through middle school already, what advice would you want to give to a new middle-schooler or her parents?
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:59 AM
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My daughters started Middle School in 5th grade. ( Which I thought was very young).

They were intimidated by the whole changing classroom thing. Convinced the'd get lost, or be late and get into trouble.. They tended to leave things in their lockers, or forget books or homework and have to be driven back to school a lot in the beginning.

They were so much smaller than the eighth readers.. and not used to having to deal with the personalities and varied expectations of several different teachers.

It was a real ego shift for both of them.. A lot of comments about being miserable and "hated" by their teachers and peers. Also a lot of stories about what other kids were allowed to do, or wear or get away with in general.

Middle School is a time of independant growth. It is also a time of hormonal upheaval,and if this is your oldest daughter.. you have a storm ahead! lol... I don't mean to "laugh" but you're going to need a sense of humor over the next few years! It's like having a two-year-old all over again.. except now they have a vocabulary that they can spew at you, and the strength to slam doors.

I remember when my older DD turned 12, telling her that I was going to miss her over the next few years, but that I'd still be there when she turned sixteen.. She looked at me like I had two heads (I got used to that... and used to being the stupidest person on the face of the earth...)

They turn into "pod people" at this age...Like a sweet little catepillar going into a chrysalis, and it will be quite some time before your little girl returns as a butterfly, after dragging you through adolescent hell.

Stick with her, and keep an eye out for the warning signs of depression and temptation. Even in a small parochial school, there are all kinds of limits to push.

Barb I don't mean to sound like the harbinger of doom... It's just that I don't think there is enough support for parents going through adolescence with their daughters. Sons, I understand, don't have it quite so hard. Everything is more on the surface in their lives.. Girls are more prone to subtrafuge than to outright rebellion.

Middle school was very hard for both my girls. GIrls this age can be surprisingly mean and rotten. ( especially in 6th and 7th grade) They jockey for social superiority, and the "popular" girls tend to be the nastiest, and most powerful kids.

Girls bully each other with social isolation; turned shoulders, rolled eyes, whispering, laughing and excluding. Glances that would wither an oak tree, rumors, disparaging nicknames and "accidental" bumps in the hallway are just a few of the weapons they use. .. They do all this while smiling and making the teachers think they're lovely children. It's amazing..
What's even more amazing is that most girls will at one point or another play both roles... bully and victim .. all depending on the situation, and who's friends whith whom on any given day..

My best advice is to read the book by Rachael Simmons: "Odd Girl Out; the Hidden Culture of Agression in Girls". It will help you realize what your kids are facing, and enable you to be supportive and reassuring.. Another good book is by Roaslind Wiseman; "Queen Bees and Wannabes, Helping your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence. "

I certainly hope your DD's experiences are easier that those of my girls.. But in any case... I'm always "here" for cyber hugs..

Val
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:26 AM
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I agree with alot of what Val has said. The Middle School years can be some very trying years for kids, parents, & teachers. I have had 2 Ds and 2 Dd who have survived the MS years and I agree that girls are much harder to get through these years. I haven't read either of the books listed in Val's post, but they sound really good.
My DDs were both luck that they found a group of friends and activities that they enjoyed in MS and didn't let the "popular" girls worry them too much. I will say that it seemed to be the smallest things (things I considered insignificant) that caused the biggest problems. I tried to stay out of the petty squables as much as possible. I was always there as a comforting shoulder to cry on though.
I also encourage all of the kids to bring their friends home. DD#1 had several Halloween parties at our house for her friends. DD#2 was a more one on one kid and had friends spend the night.
Good Luck and remember you will survive these years.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:32 AM
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Middle school is very hard on the children and their parents -- MUCH harder than high school! Even though my dd and ds are both in college, I remember middle school very well! Adolescence is very difficult during this time. Sweet little elementary school children can turn cruel /bitchy at this stage, and many cliques start to form. Be patient with your new middle-schooler and let them know that you are always available to talk or give extra hugs.

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Old 05-09-2009, 10:00 AM
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SAT's

I think this is the right section

My DD is in Yr 6 key stage 2 and is just going to sit her SAT's next week.

She is a little apprehensive about it, but not overly bothered.

When is your child's SAT's and how is your child handling the revision etc?

My DS is in Yr 3 key stage 2 and sitting his week after, but it isn't bothering him at all
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:03 AM
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sorry the post above should have been a post of it's own
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:35 AM
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My son started middle school this year and it has been very tough. Will it get any easier???????
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:39 PM
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The middle school years were always a challenging time in my house. Do they get better? Yes, for the most part.
You don't say if your son is having problems with academics or on the social side of middle school. Middle school can be a big change for some kids at time when they are going through so many changes themselves. Hang in there and remember -- This too shall pass.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:59 PM
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He is a social butterfly and that maybe part of his problem. He is just not getting his work turned in and I know that he does it. He is a very smart young man but I just can not get him to be more organized and responsible. I sometimes feel like I am failing him by not teaching him better at home. I feel like I have done something wrong and do not know how to correct it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:58 PM
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My son is in 7th grade this year and yes, I would say that it's better than last year. Once they get over the awkwardness of being in a new school and they've felt their way around and get to know the new teachers and admin, things seem to settle down.

Does his school have a "Meet the Teachers" night or something like it? It might be helpful if you attend that meeting alone so that you can talk one on one with his teachers to see what they are seeing and then you can tell them that you feel that maybe he is too much of a social butterfly.

Can you email or call his teachers to arrange a meeting? It's easier to nip this stuff in the bud than to let it go and not say anything.

More importantly... it's not your fault!! I felt the same way last year. To help him become more organized, think about creating a home work checklist. Make sure that you check his backpack daily for homework and any papers that they "forget". Yes, he will probably say that you are treating him like a baby (been there!) but until he is able to show you that he can keep it together, at least you will know that you are doing all you can.

Talk to his teachers about this, too. Maybe you can work together with them and they will enact a rule that if he doesn't turn his work in on time, he will have to stay after school (plus he will have to contact you and let you know why he didn't turn the papers in.) My son decided that I couldn't "make" him read in 5th grade. I talked it over with his teacher and he decided that he was going to check on my son every day in school to see if he was reading. On the days that I didn't sign a paper saying that he did indeed read, he had to stay after school to do it. This only happened twice and then my son was too embarrassed to continue.

Just remember that the hormones and emotions are flowing at this age. They are going to be forgetful...it's partly because they are becoming a man I'm ready for the hormones and emotional roller coasters to slow down!

I hope that you resolve these issues soon! Keep me updated on your progress. It will get better!! (Now if my son would only stop losing his lunch containers!!)
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