It goes without saying that the 2020 school year has already been different. The 2020 fall semester will be truly unique as well. It is important for positive mental health to appreciate these changes and all the benefits that can be derived from the changes.
- Masks. For those returning to face-to-face education, think of all the germs with this inconvenience that won’t get as close to your child this school year. The usual, normal colds, flus, and strep throat issues should be very limited to nil. Makeup won’t be as important. Why wear it? No one is going to see it. Prioritizing verbal communication will occur. Having to make more of an effort to talk through a mask, one may think twice before speaking in the school setting. Couldn’t we all use some extra think time before verbalizing our thoughts?
- Virtual Education. What can be used with the extra time now that your child isn’t traversing the school hallways, which takes time? What career options can be researched since your child can jump out of bed and watch class in pjs? Focused curriculum time that shortens the normal education day with virtual education allows for the pursuit of other interests such as yoga as well as personal, casual reading, nature walking, and meditation.
- Social Distancing/Isolation. There’s nothing like difficulties to inspire ideas. When facing a challenge, one tends to create solutions. What options are there for the current state of isolation? What new ways can people connect? What about good, old-fashioned letter writing? Certainly, the isolation will prioritize authentic friends, which can be a very positive benefit, indeed.
- Death. There is nothing like death to create the desire for life. I have been writing for years now about taking one’s children of all ages for a stroll through a cemetery. Inspiration will be nearly automatic when reading the tombstones of those lives already lived. We still in our bodies have options remaining to create our lives. The current situation as we realize there are many souls leaving their bodies during this time of covid-19 is no different than those who died during wars, other plagues, or from normal wear-and-tear of the physical body because we all at some level of consciousness decide when to leave our bodies. We create our births and our deaths. Some of us arrive only to be here for minutes. Some of us come into bodies to be here for a few years. Some of us come here to experience life for decades. All lives are created on purpose no matter the duration. We are creators of all parts of our lives. Nothing is ever happening to us, but we create each moment. When this is understood, one can live to the fullest. To understand death, one can live. I highly recommend you and your child reading this book:https://www.amazon.com/Mitch-albom-Tuesday-Morrie
- Illness. What is illness? What is disease? At the heart of all illness is disease or dis-ease otherwise known as not (dis) ease or unease. It is clear what makes our bodies sick – unease. So, how can we focus upon ease? How can we take this literal global shake up to reduce stress and unease for ourselves? For others? Illness is a teacher. What is it telling you? Your child? With social distancing, virtual education, and more time, how can your child find his or her ease? These questions aren’t just rhetorical, but earnest questions to pursue and answer. What can be implanted in one’s life to dramatically increase the ease factor?
- World connection. Were you amazed at the global connection beginning in March with the news of covid-19? Were you amazed how Earth benefited from less human interaction? Did you see the reports of the sea turtles returning in record numbers? Did you see how much less smog there was over multiple cities? The world connection was amazing to watch. The interaction, communication, and collaboration was…amazing. If you weren’t wowed or amazed, perhaps, a new view would be warranted. We are all One. We are all spirits in bodies on life journeys trying to have the best experiences right now. Living from this perspective makes all the difference.
In April and May as summer nears, we have wonderful, euphoric wishes for what summer will hold, and many times, it doesn’t live up to the dreams. With a new school year on the horizon, what can be done to still make this summer the best one yet? What can be done to experience triumphant summer dreams?
I’m a big list-maker, list-user, and list-enthusiast so, of course, make a list of all the things achieved so far in summer 2020. With the Covid-19 issue, this will be even more satisfying because of the creativity needed with quarantining and self-isolation. Entries on this list will be quite unique from other summers, for sure.
Making this list is part of seeing with different eyes that the summer wasn’t wasted, but, in reality, much was gained, accomplished, and obtained. Did your child, middle schooler, or teen exhibit unusual or new maturity? Were dishes put in the sink this summer without reminding? Were neighbors greeted with regularity? Did your child delve into art? Intense basketball practice? Friendship? Was your child less drama-filled? Put EVERYTHING on this list.
Next list: with the remaining time, write the desired events and activities yet to be done. Once these are identified and scheduled, you’ll have no regrets for the summer’s end. Instead, you’ll be ready fo the fall. You’ll feel fulfilled, complete.
Here are some ideas for the remainder of the summer: 1. Painting At Home. It’s relatively inexpensive. Canvases range in price with size as well as the painting supplies. Paint a collage of summer 2020 activities! 2. Exercise. No, make it the fun exercise like creating obstacle courses using boxes and whatever is in the garage. Youtube has a tremendous variety of options. Be creative with this. Walk to the ice cream shop. Walk in a new park. 3. Explore New Areas. Been thinking about that place you went to as a child? Go and take your kids. Want to explore the downtown of your city? How can you be a tourist in your own town? Create a scavenger hunt in your town for your kids to do. Can they get a napkin from a particular restaurant, a grocery store flyer, and a rock from the river? Can they deliver cookies to a neighbor, take a picture of a bird in the park, and run around the school building two times? Oh what fun! 4. Learn Something New. Do you wish your kids knew more languages? Utilize the remaining weeks to stimulate their interest in knowing additional foreign languages. How about pre-learning for the upcoming school year such as worm and frog anatomy or chemistry? 5. Walk A Cemetery. This is a motivational walk because there’s nothing like reading about lives already lived to provide inspiration for the present to achieve. You and your family members still have opportunity to be and do. What does one really want to do in life? The present moment is THE power moment of creation. 6. Switch Sleeping Experiences. Just for fun, sleep in another’s bed while he or she sleeps in yours. Sleep in the opposite direction. Sleep outside. Sleep in a tent, hammock, or screened in porch. It’s just the break from routine that will create the fun memory.
Triumphant summer dreams are very much still available to you. List what was already achieved. List and plan for what is yet to be done. Be creative!
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
Today, I am still the Producer/Founder/CEO of a non-profit performing arts company, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and using so many of Lizabeth’s successful techniques in both teaching and working with parents. Even though she wrote them with middle school in mind, they are very applicable to late elementary through high school. Middle School Years Without Tears is a book every middle school parent needs to read. In fact, I will recommend it to every parent whose child is in my company. Lizabeth sets the stage in Chapter 1 by answering some important questions parents have as their child approaches grades 6-8. “What is MS, why do we have it, who are the teachers, why do they want to teach these kids, who is a MS student, what is their (teachers and students) day like, and finally lying (to themselves, their teachers, and parents)?” Lizabeth nailed the answers and certainly will open your eyes as a parent/teacher. She said it, and I have said it to my parents over and over again, middle school is not the time to walk away from your child and act like they are adults. They may push you away, but learn how to communicate with them.
That brings me to the 2nd section of her book that I feel is critical to all situations-communication! Lizabeth addressed every person regarding communication-what to say, how to say it, and when to say it! Wow! When I think back on all those years of teaching and the conferences I had-the good, the bad, and the ugly! The bad and ugly could have been so much more positive and productive if parents and students had a guide to follow back then. Well, today you have her book! Understand how important communication is and how it can positively affect your child. Mistakes are made every day, but we all learn that positive attitudes and expectations are the way through which we can make changes. I know the world today loves texts and emails, but I prefer face to face communication with all people interested in what is best for the child. That is another reason why everything Lizabeth lays out in this book works as long as every person wants the same outcome and is willing to work to make it happen.
In the world today, when we parents(yes, I am a parent to 2 adult children, and numerous other “adopted” former students and performers who refer to me as “dad”) have to help our child(children) overcome bullying, prejudice, and lack of self-esteem, Lizabeth shows us what to say to help them understand so they can move forward learning empowerment. She also points out how important it is to listen not only to what they are saying, but to what they are not saying. Parents and teachers have a very important role to know how children see themselves. Suicide is preventable if we are in tune with our children. Lizabeth has some real insight in this book about that topic.
I have given you some examples of how this book has influenced me both as a teacher and a parent. There are many self-help books on the market but Lizabeth’s “suggestions and strategies are based upon one premise: with loving parental guidance (not dictation), parents can empower their children to positively control and direct the events of their lives for the betterment of all instead of the events controlling their lives based on the understanding of Who We Really Are.”
Thank you, Lizabeth, for again giving parents a book that will surely help make those middle years rewarding and joyful!Chuck Long,
This is an excerpt from my book, Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Socrates had a good teaching protocol way back in the 300s BC. He encouraged learning through the questioning from his students. He drew answers out of thembecause he believed the answers were already inside of them. Socrates understood the satisfaction he could have regarding teaching was dependent on the satisfaction his students were having. It’s a symbiotic relationship: a relationship where both parties are benefit and neither is damaged.
Your child’s teachers may or may not be in synch with such a relationship. Your child’s teachers may not be anywhere near this understanding, but the fact remains, these are your child’s teachers so, how can you help your child have a positive experience with all of her teachers anyway? Here are some strategies and suggestions to do just that.
Your Student Communicates First
Encourage your child to communicate first with the teachers on his or her own before you, the parent, intervene. This promotes speaking up for oneself, learning how to communicate to a person in authority, and how to maintain positive relations regardless of a favorable outcome or not. Invaluable confidence can develop during such personal contact. The student learns to negotiate an issue, concern, or problem. A teacher may offer an alternative or compromise to the student’s request and this provides fertile soil for developing negotiating skills with others.
Before and during classes are the least effective and the least desired ways to go about communicating with teachers. Teachers are quite preoccupied at these times especially at the beginning of the lesson. It is to a student’s benefit to be wise about the timing and the approach. There are many commonsense, positive ways to do this.
- Upon entering the classroom, a student can ask to speak to the teacher after class.
- Upon entering the room, give the teacher a note regarding speaking to the teacher after class.
- E-mail the teacher to schedule a time to talk.
- Talk to the teacher during lunch.
- Talk to the teacher during the teacher’s planning time with prior approval.
Approaching the teacher is just as important as the conversation itself. This teaches the importance of how to get someone’s attention so that what you have to say is heard well.
For additional strategies to guide your child to communicate well with his or her middle school teachers, read Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Okay…you’re LIVING the middle school experience along side of your kid. And, because of that, this book is for you! Just what is he doing all day? The facts are here…the realistic middle school descriptions written into this book just for you, the parents. As you read this book, you’ll feel like you are standing right there in the hallways of your child’s school. What is it like to be your daughter in middle school? How does she make it from class to class? The sights, sounds, AND smells are here awaiting your eyes to read…and experience.
After teaching middle school for 10 years, 14-time author, Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale brings the honest, no-holding-back truth of what it is like to be a middle schooler and a middle school teacher in today’s schools. This perspective gained will assist you to be the best middle school parent ever. With knowledge of what the experience is, you can be more understanding and supportive.
What does your middle schooler need after school? How to handle homework blues? What is personality experimentation and what are the benefits? What is the best approach when you catch your middle schooler lying? What options do you have when you find yourself in the principal’s office staring at another student’s parents over a classroom dispute? What is middle school common sense? What is the best way for you to speak about your child’s school to your friends, family, and your child? How can you guard your child from the barrage of requests to know his or her grades? What can you do about your child’s shortcomings? These questions and more are answered in this interactive book, which is packed full of useful information and strategies written by veteran educator and former middle school mom, Lizabeth Jenkins-Dale.
This is an excerpt from my book, Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
All communication styles change with different situations and places. For example, foul language, degrading content, or yelling is not tolerated at the school setting. Grocery stores, libraries, churches, movie theaters, banks, tennis matches, golf tournaments, or football playoffs all have different expectations and allowances of communication. Schools expect polite, low-toned, and respectful communication. This needs to be understood and demonstrated in schools, thus, the importance of finding ways that allow for student communication with some stronger emotions at home.
“I want to have communication with my child, but at times it is hard. Sometimes, I am at a loss for words. Sometimes my child acts so bizarre that I don’t know what to say!”
It must be stated here to be positive and steady. Remember, you are the one not on the middle school roller coaster. Your hormones are relatively stable as compared to a middle schooler. Keep asking about your child’s day, about friends, about homework and upcoming projects, and about future plans such as what would be a good weekend activity.
Can you embrace the bizarre? It’s middle school so ask what weird things happened during the day because weird things are always happening in middle school. Ask if anyone farted, vomited, put markers, erasers, or pencils up their noses, threw gum and missed the trash can, or fell asleep during classes.
Inquire about what your child ate for lunch, who spilled their food today, who made a greenish solution from all the leftover food and drink on the food tray, and who threw a grape tomato at someone. Find out who drooled on their desks, who skipped down the hall singing “Jingle Bells,” and what boy had 15 ponytails in his hair by the end of the day. (Yes, I’ve seen all of these!)
Probe if there was a fire drill today, who drew what on their hands and arms for middle schoolers view skin the same as paper, who did cartwheels down the hallway, and who supposedly kissed whom. All these things create the magic of middle school. It really is a wonderful, awesome, successful, and thrilling place!
This is an excerpt from my book, Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Even though it’s important, many parents struggle with communication with their middle schooler.
“Everything seemed to change when my daughter entered sixth grade. It began at the end of her fifth grade year. I kept trying to talk with her, but she was shying away from me. She wasn’t sharing as much with me. It nearly broke my heart.”
I get it. It’s a strange phase. Middle school can be strange. It is logical, then, that talking to a middle schooler could be strange, too. Talking face to face is the number one and best way to communicate, but it may not always go well. Some situations do warrant other methods of communication. If you have talked and talked, then more talking will not be best perhaps. A unique diversion could do the trick. I have heard stories about one day all is fine, and the next day parents really do not know who or what is in the same place as their son or daughter’s skin, but it is not their child. Overnight, their precious off-spring feels alien. If talking becomes difficult or you would just like additional ways to communicate with your child, here are some alternatives. Of course, if communication becomes a really big issue, then professional help is advised.
- Miscellaneous Communications
Send an e-mail. Mail a letter to school for the child to be received at school. Mail a letter to where your child is ie: ex-spouse’s house, camp, or friend’s house. Put sticky notes on the mirror to be receive in the AM or after school or after practice. Place notes in the lunch bag, on your child’s agenda, or in a sports bag. Leave voice mail messages on the home phone to be received after school or on cell phone.
- Non-verbal Communication
Additionally, non-verbal communication can be quite useful in this situation – try using sign language. For example, use the time out referee hand signal to indicate a time out, a stoppage, or a calm is needed. This can be especially useful if there is heated communication. Using the raised pointer finger as the one moment sign is useful for when you need to pause to think. Using the palm up sign to indicate a time out, a stoppage, or a calm is needed will be understood by all. Using the thumbs up indicates approval. The peace sign, two fingers up, can show agreement. Have fun creating your own special family hand signals.
- Silent Conversation
Silent conversation is not only effective, but fun. Whatever you want to say is written down on paper and each person takes a turn writing something in response to the previous writing. One piece of paper, or a notebook, is used which is shared and pushed back and forth between you and your teen. Absolutely nothing is said. Everythingis written. Even laughter is written in the form of “Ha ha” or a drawn laughing face. This slows down the conversation, provides think time, and decelerates reaction time. It gives each person a chance to truly think what the other is communicating.
- Venting Permission
Give your child the gift of a venting session every now and then. With prior knowledge and at an arranged time, your child is allowed to vent and to say anything for about five minutes. With your parental broader view of life and understanding, you know how healthy this is, and by allowing such a communication without judgment, you are truly giving a gift to your child. Is there any speech that is off limits to you and your family such as cursing? Can this be allowed during this time? If not, do you realize the benefit of allowing no restrictions for this venting session? You will truly hear just how upset your child is if there are no restrictions.
This communication technique gives your child the opportunity to get it all out. Using the anger pillow mentioned in my first book as prescribed by your family’s set of parameters might greatly assist with this session, too. Your child will be in a better state to communicate and to be a receptive listener if the emotional explosion – an emotional release of resistance – is allowed.
Whenyougive the permission for the emotional explosion to occur, then you give yourself the gift of time to prepare for it. If it happens without your knowing or permission, you are caught off-guard. You might be thrown off by it and react negatively yourself. Everyone needs a proper time and place to blow some steam. Your middle schooler is an up-and-coming adult who is on a roller coaster with hormones raging through the body. Who could need this communication strategy more? Just about every middle schooler! Of course, this technique would then be followed up with listing many options to improve whatever brought on the need for venting.
For communication suggestions 5-10, read Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, a guru in the area of self-development, used a boat metaphor to share the freeing understanding of how to let go of the past. It goes something like this: You are the only one in a motor boat going somewhere. It’s your boat; not anyone else’s boat. It’s not your mother’s boat. It’s not your father’s boat. It’s not your sibling’s boat. It’s not your friend’s boat. It’s not the teacher’s boat. It’s your boat. The boat represents you and your life. The question is, “Where are you in your boat?”
Many people stand at the back of the boat looking at where the boat has been. They stare at the wake, the V shaped ripples the motor creates. They ponder what has happened. They ponder what would have happened if they had gone down a different stream, creek, or river. They sometimes feel regret for not having taken those paths and get stuck thinking about the choices they didn’t make.
When people are standing at the back of the boat looking at the wake and what has already happened, the question then to ask is, “Who is driving the boat?” Can a person be at the back of the boat and the front at the same time? No. The metaphor is to get people to move from the back to the front of the boat to drive their boats. Where do you want your life to go from here? Where does your middle schooler want to go from here?
I love this boat metaphor about life discussed by Dr. Wayne Dyer. One year in my classroom, I had a picture of a boat with a person on the back looking at the wake. I wrote on the poster, “Who is driving the boat? Stop looking at the past and drive your boat!” Get a picture of a boat or get a boat miniature and give it to your child as you share Dr. Dyer’s boat metaphor.What a wonderful gift to give your child. What a wonderful gift to give yourself.
This is an excerpt from Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
You will get to know your child so much more when you surround yourself or familiarize yourself with your child’s peers. First, it is lots of fun. The children of this age are so excited to be experiencing the new life offerings that come with this age that their excitement level is contagious. It reminds you, the parent, of how wonderful it felt to be this age. Have a bunch of your child’s friends over one night and you will quickly reminisce back to your middle school days, hopefully, with grand memories.
Their excitement becomes your excitement! Play games with them. Challenge your child’s friends to a competition of fooseball. Dare them to find you while playing flashlight tag. Show them you still have what it takes to play football. Impress them with your kickball abilities. Plan a scavenger hunt. Have the kids create snacks in your kitchen. Conduct a beauty event. Enjoy this time with them.
Surround your child with friends who have like-minded parents. This is when the other parents parent their children with the same boundaries as you parent. Are they raising their child in the same healthy manner as you are? You will quickly know these things after a few conversations with the friend and the parents. Get to know the parents of your child’s friends well.
Discuss with your child if you do have concerns about some friends. I have found that when I had that funny gut feeling about one of my child’s friends, my daughter was having the same feeling. When we talked about it, the feeling was brought to the forefront for her. I encouraged my daughter to listen to those feelings thus helping her to bring those gut reactions to hermain focus. This is exactly what we want for our child, right? We want them to be independent thinkers and focusers about their lives. We want them to recognize and listen to their individual Truths rather than parents dictating it all.
Be the parent who has the house where all your child’s friends hang out. This means purchasing cool toys such as video games, basketball hoop, baseball equipment, volleyball net, big screen TV, TV games, make up, spa items such as a water foot massager, and so forth. This means you create a really cool place for middle school kids to hang out. Perhaps, this means you build a tree house. Perhaps, this means you have a zip line in your backyard. Perhaps, this means you provide your child with a teen-decorated bedroom. This definitely means you are on first name basis with the pizza delivery person, too.
It is the best way to keep a loving and watchful eye on your child. You oversee who enters your home. You oversee the activities. Engage the friends in conversation. Don’t just have them over. Talk to them. Get to know them. Maintain the communication with your child’s friends throughout the years. The monetary, time, and social investment in your child’s friends is well worth the peace that comes from knowing where your child is and knowing his or her friends.
The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Positive, loving boundaries. Despite what you hear and experience from your child, kids at this age want to know the boundaries still exist for them because they like to “bounce” off or test those boundaries. The bouncing off and testing are not necessarily negative. This is their way of making sure you are still there for them.
For example, the boundary is to be home on the weekdays by 9:30 pm because everyone in the house would like a decent night’s sleep. “You’re in middle school not high school,” you explain. You may add that as he gets older the time may change, but for now it is 9:30 pm. You may be questioned every time before your middle schooler goes out of the house with friends. You may get lots of huffing and puffing. You make get eye rolling. You may get, “But Daaaadd!!” You may get an adolescent’s attempt to explain why the time needs to be later.
And…you may experience him coming in a few minutes late. You may encounter your child sneaking in at 10:00 or later. Oh my! What are you going to do now? Well, you have options! Consider what is the best for your child? What is the best for your family? Certainly, an option is to get mad and threaten or deliver an unwanted consequence. How does this feel to you? Another option is to let it slide and sorta joke about coming in later than the expectation. How does this feel to you?
Another possible option is to discuss with your child what happened that he did not come back to the house at the designated time. Ask questions about the evening. Ask about the established and expected time of arrival back and why it didn’t happen. Through the discussion you can obtain ideas from your child what to do with this situation. Many times it is the child who will suggest taking a break from going out till he feels he can come back at the established time. Other times, it will be you, the parent, who will need to establish a new expectation of staying with the family till he can understand the reasoning behind the established time of return to the family, which is a natural consequence to coming in late. Either way, it is important that the boundary of the established time to be back with the family unit is honored by you and by him. Why? Comfort. It is comforting to have a boundary for your child.
You may respond with: “It is comforting? That is not how my child reacts! There is nothing that says to me that my child needs this comfort nor appreciates the comfort of the established curfew. It is usually a difficult, near-daily, miserable conversation for me.”
Yes, it might not seem like students are comforted. You may get the excuses, the eye rolling, and the huffing and puffing all over again. But, zoom fifteen years into the future and your child, now in his late twenties, will remember that you were there and provided the boundary for her safe keeping. You might even get a, “Thanks, Mom.”
Look at the opposite situation. A parent says to return home on weekdays at 9:30 pm. The child already knows that she can return whenever because the parent does not really pay attention to what the child does or requires the expectations to be adhered. She returns past the 9:30 pm time. Nothing is said. Maybe the parents are already asleep, thus there is no way to check when the child came home. The child feels lost. “Doesn’t anyone care that I got home late?” The child goes through this adolescent time wavering and fluctuating wildly not really sure how to act in life’s situations. “Where is the boundary? How am I supposed to act?” It feels like a feather in the wind. It feels like a lost kid at the county fair. It feels like a white fluffy dandelion seed floating to wherever.
The child loses respect for the parent because she knows that the parent is slacking with the parenting role. This middle schooler knows that the parents are to enforce the curfew. One thing middle school kids can do easily is detect a fake. The child becomes angry. The feelings fester and the not knowing just where she stands in the realm of her house is extremely frustrating. “Am I important? Am I to be here at this time or not? Where am I to be?” the child mentally cries out. Middle school students need age appropriate boundaries, which provide the security and safety to move toward becoming an adult.
There are some middle schoolers who are so in tune with their inner Truth, Wisdom, and Knowingness that boundaries do not carry the same importance. Testing the boundaries is just not needed. The parent and the middle schooler agree upon a time together out of mutual respect for each other’s needs: the middle schooler’s need for socialization and the parent’s need to know the child is safe. There are still boundaries supporting the child, though. These boundaries include staying where the parent thinks he is, informing the parent if the child goes to a new location, and involving himself with positive activities that are in alignment with his Truth only.
Boundaries play an important role with any middle schooler’s life if approached in such a way that feels good to both parties: child and parent. The boundaries provide a loving safety net for the activities middle schoolers wish to participate in. Isn’t this like any activity any person want to participate at any age? To honor any activity in which anyone wants to participate, there are boundaries that support the participant so that person can obtain the most enjoyment from the activity. Are there boundaries for rock climbing? Yes! Are there boundaries for sky diving? Yes! Are there boundaries for driving a car? Yup. A rock climber wants to return from the experience safely and be able to share the experience with others. A sky diver prefers an intact body with no twisted ankles upon return to Earth. A car driver deems it a good trip if safely arriving at the destination without scratches, dings, or dents to the car. There are ways to achieve these desires through honoring the boundaries. In this light, boundaries support all the participants in this time of middle school: the student and the parents.