To Make It Though Middle School
Updated: Dec 31, 2018
A wise educator once told me that for my son to make it through middle school, he needed a good friend. That he would find his tribe in high school. That middle school would be hard, but it would be okay on the other side.
As I watched my son move through middle school, I reminded myself that I was grateful that he had a good friend. Middle school was hard. I watched enduring friendships from the elementary years shift, some even disappear, as they worked through the hormones, the peer pressure, and the new expectations. They were working hard to find themselves.
When my son moved into high school, he did find his tribe. They have been tight through it all. I marvel at the advice I had received so many years ago. As my daughter moved into middle school, I wondered if the same thing would happen to her. I can say now that the woes of middle school do not discriminate based on gender. I have watched her group of friends evolve with shifts of interests in sports, clubs, and boys. I'm looking forward to high school to see what tribe she finds to call her own. For now, I'm thankful she has a good friend.
Having worked with middle schoolers for the last 8 years as an educator, I have seen fun-loving, friendly, energetic kids morph into new creatures that value likes on social media, brand names in fashion, and being a member of the right sports team. Middle school is hard. Hormones are hard. Thankfully, it comes to an end. Maybe not in high school, but there is a reprieve of sorts.
When I conference with parents of middle schoolers, and their biggest concerns revolve around social issues, I tell the story of advice I once received from a wise educator. To make it through middle school, your child needs a good friend. I've seen it happen not only with my own children but with countless other students on their individual journeys. If you are blessed with a middle schooler, or new to working with middle schoolers, hold on. It's worth the adventure to discover who they become.