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