It happened today. Our baby girl graduated from elementary school. She received her “diploma” and will begin the dreaded middle school years in August. I could lament about how quickly the time has passed, or how I remember that chubby little face, or how I blinked and she was a tween. I could do all of that, but I can’t.
Nope. I am too busy worrying about middle school and what to expect during the “awkward years”.
We have all been there: bad hair (I was a fan of the “poof”), zits, braces, etc. I think I can be sure that each of us felt uncomfortable at one time or another in junior high. But when it is your child who is facing these things, it’s a whole new ballgame!
My daughter is nervous as well. Many of her good friends (read: all of her good friends) are going to “the other” middle school. She is nervous that she will be alone and friendless at her school. I can remind her that she has attended three elementary schools and that she made friends at each one, but she will tell me that middle school is different. She will tell me, in her 11 year old I-think-I’m-smarter-than-you voice, that I don’t know what I’m talking about and that she will be miserable.
But she won’t be miserable. She will find her niche. She will make new friends. And she will still enjoy the company of her friends from that other school.
So there’s the friend issue…and there’s the peer issue. I remember my middle school days. There was so much going on back then: bad language, alcohol, and drugs, to name a few. But, the 80’s were missing something that our kiddos have ample access to: the internet. I like to think that we keep a pretty tight leash on our kiddos when it comes to the internet and social media. But is that enough to shield them from the rude, petty, nastiness that can be the tween years? Will we be able to keep them safe from the incessant bullying that happens online? I guess only time will tell.
All of the social things are worrisome, for sure. But I can’t forget about a little thing called education. My daughter has always been a hard worker and she makes wonderful grades. Will junior high change this? How will the courses in middle school differ from those in elementary school? Will she be able to handle the course load without pre-teen meltdowns? Have you ever listened to a tween girl wail about her inability to complete a math problem? Let’s not even mention the fact that my husband and I are *this close* to being unable to help her with her math homework!
I am begging for some tips on how to survive the pre-teen chaos that is middle school. What worked for you? What didn’t work for you?
And would anyone like to come help us figure out her math homework?
****I would like to thank my daughter for helping me come up with a post this week!****by