Tips For Helping Your Child Transition To Middle School

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While most children are excited about entering middle school, some are apprehensive. And, most parents are more worried about the transition than their children. Here are some important tips to remember as your child is transitioning from elementary school to middle school. Parents want to know what they can do to help ensure the transition is a smooth one for their child(ren).

Reading and math skills are the foundation for future achievement, so make sure these skills are honed. And, while grades are important, middle school is the time to focus on setting up good organizational skills, study habits, and internal motivation. This is also a time to focus on independence in and outside of school. Elementary school helps parents get kids ready for middle school, middle school helps kids get ready for high school. You can help your child develop their independence and organization skills by finding a system for keeping track of assignments, completing assignments and turning in assignments. You can help them develop healthy advocacy and assertiveness skills. And, remember, your children are becoming teenagers, they need support for their social, moral and emotional development just as much as their academic development.

Below are tips you might find helpful:


ACADEMICS

DO:

  • Check PowerSchool for zeros
  • Set daily or weekly goals
  • Ask if the teachers use reminder systems about homework assignments
  • Use homework folders
  • Have your child use an agenda book each day
  • Ask to see your child’s homework
  • Encourage your children to read at home
  • Encourage them to do real world math
  • Cultivate a culture of learning for the sake of learning, not just grades

DON'T:

  • Be afraid to ask your school counselor
  • Forget that there are now multiple teachers
  • Over pressure
  • Get over focused on activities

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL

DO:

  • Monitor Social Media
  • Better yet- no social media at all!
  • Have dinner together (or another meal every day)
  • Develop healthy household habits
  • Be a good role model
  • Model self and other compassion

DON'T:

  • Be too hard on yourself or your children
  • Have expectations of perfection
  • Allow more than 2 hours of electronic use (combined) a day, preferably less
  • Allow electronics in bedrooms
  • Forget that your children are entering adolescence
  • Ignore social and sexual awakening

STRESS MANAGEMENT

  • Exercise
  • Relaxation
  • Sleep
  • Mindfulness
  • Time with family and friends
  • Faith
  • Positive self-talk
  • Time management
  • Learn to say no
  • Recognize when stress becomes depression or anxiety
  • Reach out for help

RESOURCES

The Overpressured Student by Richard Weissbourd
Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman
Masterminds and Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman
Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax
Race to Nowhere


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Dr. Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones

At KKJ, we focus on the specific problems that affect your daily life, using well-known, evidence-based techniques. While techniques are important, authenticity, warmth, and empathy are integral for people to flourish in, and outside of, counseling. You are a whole person—mind, body, spirit - with strengths, and weaknesses. Let us help you form a stronger family, decrease stress, enhance your relationships, find meaning in your life, and realize overall greater health and well-being.

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