What Does It Mean to Be A Middle School Student?
What parents may notice*:
- rapid physical growth, puberty
- self-conscious, anxiety, clumsy and uncoordinated movements, stronger need for privacy
- test limits, authority, and rules
- a desire to develop autonomy or distance from parents or caregivers
- an ability to detect inconsistencies, think about future changes, see possibilities, think of logical rebuttals (or "comebacks")
- confusion, caught between dependence and independence
- establish a sense of self (friends, clothing, music) yet may be carried out through a desire to be part of "the group"
*Vernon, A. (2004). Counseling Children & Adolescents. Colorado: Love Publishing Company.
How parents can support children through these stages:
- assist students in developing personal awareness and explore career and personal goals
- help develop communication, listening, and interpersonal skills needed to relate well to others
- set a specific study plan to include a study time and place, and check assignments on a regular basis
- maintain contact with teachers and staff regarding your child's progress
- be willing to make adjustments, adolescent children often display a range of moods and emotions
- establish boundaries, yet allow them to make some decisions with your supervision
- monitor telephone, video game, and television usage
- know your child's friends and parents
- speak with school counselors, administrators, and other support staff who can support you and your child during difficult times