For many kids, the middle school years are the hardest ones to get through. Due to academic, social, physical, and personal pressures, many kids find themselves struggling during these years of school. And while there isn’t always an easy answer for how to address certain problems that may arise, there are things you as a parent can do to hopefully make things a little easier on your child.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three ways to help your child make it through their middle school years.
Give Them Time To Figure Things Out On Their Own First
Middle school will bring with it a lot of new challenges that your child has likely never had to face before. And while you might want to run ahead of them and mow over every challenge that comes their way before it turns into an issue for them, this isn’t the best way for them to learn how to handle hard times that will inevitably come up in their lives. So while it can be hard for you, it’s best if you can give your child time to figure things out on their own first.
Middle school-aged kids can be incredibly creative and smart in coming up with solutions to their own problems. So while it can hard for you to watch them struggle with things that you may be able to rectify with just a few emails or phone calls, giving them time to work things out for themselves can be extremely empowering and help them build with own self-confidence, which they will desperately need during these years and beyond.
Find Out What’s Stressful For Them
While it may seem surprising to you, your middle schooler likely experiences a lot of stress in their life. Although not all of this stress is detrimental to them, with the little experience they likely have with dealing with stress, having you by their side to help them through these things can be helpful.
To do this, sit down with your child and ask them what is stressful for them. When they open up to you, help them come up with strategies for addressing this stress before it becomes too much. This could include things like getting a tutor, getting to bed earlier each night, having time to relax when they get home from school, and more.
Encourage Them To Take Healthy Risks
Taking risks generally isn’t something that many middle schoolers like to do, as it can often put them outside of their comfort zone and make them feel very vulnerable. But to get the things they want, they may have to take some risks during these years.
To help them with this, try to encourage your middle schooler to take small, healthy risks. This could include asking a question in class, trying out for a team, attending a birthday party, or just speaking to someone else in their school. The more they’re able to do things like this that scare them, the more confident they’ll be in doing things like this in the future.
If you have a child that will be in middle school this coming year, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them thrive during these years rather than just surviving them.