When you ask a young adult which they disliked the most, elementary, middle, or high school, usually the answer is middle school. Transitioning into middle school isn’t easy. The age range of middle school students is one of the most transformatory times, making it a tumultuous and difficult experience.
Awkward social encounters, changing bodies, hormones out the wazoo–it’s a recipe for disaster. And for some, it really is. While most kids make it through middle school relatively unscathed, it can be the beginning of serious self-esteem issues and mental health problems for certain students.
Understanding how transitioning into middle school is a challenge can help you, as a parent, guide your daughter through it.
How to make transitioning into middle school easier on the whole family
Open a dialogue.
Shockingly, one mistake that many parents make is not opening up a conversation about transitioning into middle school. It’s easy to forget that this transition could be intense for your child because you’re so far into adulthood, you’ve forgotten what it felt like–it seems trivial to you.
But to your child, it’s different. They’re probably entering a much larger community of students, which comes with a whole host of factors that are both positive and negative. They aren’t familiar with these new teachers, which can create a certain fear.
Try to talk to your child and see how they feel. Ask them how they feel about going back to school and let them know you’re there to answer any questions or offer advice.
Find a balance of independence and parenting.
Middle school is when kids really start to grasp their independence. Their bodies and minds are changing, and that usually brings some new rebellious behavior with it. They want to test their boundaries and you should let them–to a point.
For example, the thought of letting your kid wander around with their friend in the mall alone may give you heart palpitations–but if all the other kids get to, maybe you need to reevaluate your rules. But now, let’s say it’s wandering around the town alone and you really don’t feel comfortable with that–that’s the time to set the boundary between their autonomy and your parenting.
You can’t let the leash go all at once, it needs to be a slow ease into it in order to allow your child to acclimate and show that they can handle the privilege responsibly.
Overall, it’s important to acknowledge your child’s worries, help them talk it out, and allow a little more freedom to see if they can handle it.
If your daughter is really struggling with transitioning into middle school, they may need a little more help than you or a regular school can give. If this is the case, it’s important to reach out to a professional for guidance.
Asheville Academy is here for your family
Asheville Academy for Girls is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10-14. Our students commonly struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning differences, and other behavioral or emotional challenges. We understand that transitioning into middle school can be stressful for the whole family, but Asheville Academy is here to help.
With the help of our licensed therapists, experienced teachers, caring staff, and expertly designed program, our students move closer to a healthier life. We use the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to help our students thrive at Asheville Academy.
For more information about how we help at Asheville Academy, call 800-264-8709 today.
Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy for Girls. She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.