2 Your Middle Schooler's World

As you are aware, many changes are going on throughout your child’s life. Among the biggest change is the transition from elementary to middle school. Kids age 11 to 14 may face many new situations and challenges: ࡟ Maturing bodies that grow at different rates, leading to social awkwardness. ࡟ The dilemma of who to become friends with and how to fit in. ࡟ More responsibilities and demands at school and around the house. ࡟ Moral dilemmas about risky behaviors and substance use. During this period of rapid change and growth, adults can provide support and understanding that help build a stronger relationship. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY When kids reach middle school, it is normal for them to seek more freedoms. They want to feel in control and capable of handling any situation—even when they are not. Kids need to learn that all new freedoms come with responsibility. As parents, we can offer age-appropriate choices and guidance to help them develop safely. During this period of rapid physical growth and change, a child’s hands, feet and arms can grow quickly. Many youth feel awkward and “gawky.”

Kids whose bodies mature slowly are often seen as less socially developed and less attractive and popular. Mistakenly, about one in five middle school students believe they are overweight or underweight. These are some obstacles to developing healthy self-esteem.


Positive, shared family activities help protect kids against risky peer influences. For example, kids like looking at pictures of parents and siblings when they were young. Viewing family photos together can strengthen relationships and show how everyone goes through similar changes. These informal conversations also help keep the lines of communication open. By talking with kids often, the transition is easier when you need to discuss more difficult topics.


Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog