Your child seems so grown-up and accomplished now that they are ready for middle school, but they’re still kids. And you’re still the mom. Here’s a few tips to survive the transition to middle school.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Check the bus schedule. In Hazelwood, the middle schools are all on the “second tier” bus schedule. This may be earlier or later than was normal when your child was in elementary school. Your kid’s routine will need to change because you might gain—or lose—critical morning time.
2. Start the sleep schedule early. A full night’s sleep is vital for all children, but tweens may try to convince you that they can stay up later. Start going to bed a little earlier each night—starting now—and work up to a decent bedtime before school starts. Remember, your middle schooler should get about nine hours of sleep.
3. Pack a lunch. Even if your kid normally eats a cafeteria lunch, the first day of school is usually a scene of controlled chaos. Kids with lunches from home can bypass the lunch line and go straight to a table. This will give them more time to eat and enjoy their lunch, plus it gives them a break from all the excitement. Remember to include a drink, so there’s no reason to stand in a lunch line.
4. Arm your kids against bullies. Though schools try their best to prevent bullies, you still want to make sure your kids are prepared to withstand bully tactics. Keep lines of communication open—your child needs to know that they can talk to you about anything.
5. Encourage fun extracurricular activities. Middle school opens a world of new after school opportunities and your child should take part. They can explore their talents by joining an art club, a sports team, the chess club, yearbook staff or any of a dozen other clubs. But even better, after school groups can help them meet other kids with similar interests, find new friends and gain confidence.
6. Help your child stay organized. The switch from having one classroom to several can induce a bad case of middle school whiplash in some students. The part of the brain that keeps a person organized and focused is not fully developed in middle schoolers. Help your child stay on top of homework assignments and their schedule by having them keep a planner. Check it every day to make sure they are using it.
Is there anything I left out? Post more tips for moms of new middle schoolers in the comments below!