Seasons change and so do our seasons in parenting. Dave and I are entering a new season and it’s called “Having a middle schooler!”
To prepare, I have been reading, listening and exploring different approaches to this new phase our daughter is entering. The most important thing I have learned is to stop worrying about the next three years. For some children, they really like middle school and for others, they look back on it being a period of growth. Yes, with growth can come some heartache and hardship. But our family has done the work to build a foundation with your children where our family values are super clear. Our children know we love and support them and this shows in our day to day interactions.
Middle school is its own important, distinct territory, and yet it’s either written off as an uncomfortable rite of passage or lumped in with other developmental phases. Based on her many years working in schools, professional counselor Phyllis Fagell sees these years instead as a critical stage that parents can’t afford to ignore (and though “middle school” includes different grades in various regions, Fagell maintains that the ages make more of a difference than the setting). Though the transition from childhood to adolescence can be tough for kids, this time of rapid physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional change is a unique opportunity to proactively build character and confidence.
Fagell helps parents use the middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they’ll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, be their own advocates, and more. To answer parents’ most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, Fagell combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, school professionals, and middle schoolers themselves.
My Review of the Book:
I loved the variety of topics covered in the book. I did a lot of highlighting and I can see myself going back to the book and rereading sections when we need the advice again. The author did an excellent job with real life examples and practical advice on solving difficult situations. Each chapter has a section Top Tips for Parents and Conversation Starters.
Topics covered in the book:
-Making responsible decisions
-Social Skills (bullying, friendships, gossip, health and love)
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