Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Daughter's Already in Middle School?!!!

"Childhood is a short season."  ~Helen Hayes

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How did this happen? How did I become a mother to a middle school kid?! It seems like only yesterday my oldest daughter, Evie (AKA Evo), was born! It seems like only yesterday, I was knocked out for an emergency C-section to save both of our lives! Weird... Time is a weird and unforgiving thing. Sometimes I wish I could have that time back. But for the most part, other than making me feel like I'm an old woman at 30 years of age, I'm excited about this middle school age. It seems like I can relate to my kid more than ever. She's starting to get into clothes, makeup and school extracurricular activities and it's just so cool! I'm quite proud of her because she is very level headed and responsible. And it makes me stop and think... I did a pretty good job with her. 

      
       Now as excited as I am about this age, I'm sure there are things going on with her that she may not wanna tell me. Not necessarily out of being secretive, but maybe she's embarrassed or uncomfortable about discussing certain things with me. I consider myself a cool mom, but at the end of the day I am totally more concerned with being a good role model and an authority figure.  I'm the mom that jams out in the car with the kids and sometimes I still ACT like a kid. I love to have fun and am always coming up with new fun things for all of us to do. I'm a kid at heart with an old soul. And I think this combination makes me a good parent. But it's the old soul in me that may make me a little difficult to talk to about some things. So, I have done some research and come up with some ways  to make this time easier for her and other middle school aged kids. Cause after all, this is when I feel like life is really starting for them. They have more responsibilities and are now expected to exude more independence. The tips below may seem trivial to us grown folk, but it's EXACTLY what I feel like middle schoolers need to know. So if you have a middle schooler, these would be some cool things to discuss with them:

1. Find your style and stick to it! Be who you are and don't copy the other kids. I know this may be hard to do because of course you wanna fit in, but the sooner you let your schoolmates know that you're gonna be you NO MATTER WHAT, the sooner they will start to respect you.

2. If you have some kids in school that treat you bad, never let them think they get the best of you. Even though you may be close to tears, suck it up and remove yourself from the situation. Crying in front of them will only make things harder for you. Also, don't stoop to their level. If they are calling you names, give em a wink and a big smile and walk away.

3. If your friends swear you to secrecy about something, always keep their secrets. The quickest way to lose a friend in middle school is to blab about something that was told to you in confidence. Always be supportive. These friends will more than likely be your friends in high school and high school is where things get even MORE difficult. Make sure you always respect your friends.


4. I know you may think you'll be considered a nerd if you are conscientious of your grades and keep them good, but who cares. You'll end up being the kid that every one wants help from and believe me, when you get older, the kids that were the smart and responsible ones in school, are gonna be the ones you want relationships with. Honestly, if I had it to do over, I would have hung out with the "nerdy" kids in school. Seriously. I woulda BEEN the "nerdy" kid in school! So keep your grades up, because before you know it, you'll be filling out college applications and you wanna get into your first choice, right?

5. Go to as many football games and dances that you can! This is the fun part about middle school! There's no better place to start making memories than sporting events and dances. 

6. Get in good with your teachers. Don't necessarily "suck up", but offer to help them if they need it, and be active in class discussions. This will get you noticed and if your teacher sincerely likes you, the school year will go much smoother. 

7. So you finally got a locker... Dress it up! It'll make you feel like you are actually responsible for your own space. Wal-Mart carries some cute locker swag, including little locker "chandeliers". Make sure you keep it neat and organized so you can always find your books and folders. Chances are that you only have a few minutes between period changes to switch out books and materials, so save time by keeping things orderly.  

8. Study, study, study! You have more classes which equal more tests, more classwork and more homework. I recommend studying for at least an hour to 2 hours a day. And don't try to do it one day or less before the big math exam. You will most definitely crash and burn. 

9. If you have any social media accounts (ex. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), play nice. Don't post mean things about other people, even if you are enemies with someone. You can never fully delete stuff off of the internet and in the end, it WILL come back and bite you in the booty. And if you see someone being bullied, report it or speak up for the person. As cliched as it sounds, the truth is, if you watch someone getting hurt and you don't do something about it, you're just as bad as the bully. Middle school is hard enough without having to be picked on. Do the right thing. You're old enough to know what the right thing is.

10. Last but not least, talk to your parents. If you have any issues, your parents WILL listen. Don't keep secrets from them. They wanna help you and be there for you. But they usually won't know there's something wrong unless you tell them. And ENJOY this time! Middle school will be an awesome experience as long as you try your best to make it one!


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 Cool sites for your middle schooler:


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       Middle school can be a tough time for kids. We as parents, are responsible for making sure it's as fun as possible. And this is the time to really coach them in what it takes to be an upstanding citizen and adult. Time with your kid will surely fly by now, so don't waste a moment.



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~XoXo Jess

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