Middle School is a time of striving for independence. Your teen (or almost teen) is dealing with many changes emotionally, physically and socially. This can be a time of great joy as well as anguish.
It is normal for your teen to have mood swings- yes, boys as well as girls. Hormone surges keep your teen/preteen on the edge and very unpredictable.
They can be confused about these extreme feelings which in turn can add to their moody behavior.
Other normal developmental behaviors for teens/preteens are disorganization, clumsiness and poor memory. Their brains go under tremendous growth at this age- relevant to the same growth spurt in the first 2 years of life. This is the time that your child needs the most help with organization, forming positive study habits, and forming consistent patterns. It is very important for them to have boundaries set and followed through on. Yes, they crave freedom and independence. But they still do, even though they may argue not, need those boundaries set firmly for them. Let them know you trust that they will make the right choices and give them the opportunity to prove this to you. If they falter, follow through with a good discussion on how trust has been compromised and it will not be so easy for you to give them that bit of freedom next time.
They look for your approval at this age.
They look for your guidance (even if it doesn't seem so).
They are trying desperately to figure out who they are now and who they want to be in the future.
Sometimes, they want to stand out.
Other times, they want to be invisible.
Parents, support your middle schooler by listening and participating in their daily going-ons. Read up on "How to survive the teenage years" There are many wonderful resources out there.
Some suggestions on books to read are:
"Grounded For Life?!" by Louise Fleton Tracy
"Parenting to Build Character in Your Teen" by Michael Sl Josephson, Val J. Peter and Tom Dowd
"Organizing the Disorganized Child"- Kutscher
"Late, Lost and Unprepared- Parnts Guide"- Cooper
"Where's my Stuff- The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide"- Moss
"Don't Give me that Attitude!" by Michele Borba
"One to One" personal counseling tapes for teens
Please feel free to call your child's guidance counselor at 426-7644 if you have any
We are here to help!