“It’s going to be wonderful! You’re going to have so much fun! There will be new experiences that you’ll love. You’ll make new friends! You’ll learn so many things! Each day will be a wonderful adventure!”
Do these statements sound familiar? Were they the enthusiastic comments you said to your youngster about kindergarten? I hope so, yes! You wanted to imbue positivity. Your goal was to get your child’s education started on a positive path. You talked about all the good things kindergarten has to offer waaaaaaay before the first day, right? Your parental determination wanted things to go as smoothly as possible so you implemented a kindergarten-get-ready-protocol years before it was a reality!
I’m going to restate that last sentence in a slightly different way: By doing the kindergarten-get-ready-protocol, you pre-paved the way to that single kindergarten experience YEARS before it was a reality.
My question today is…are you doing this with middle school?
With your kindergarten-get-ready-protocol, did you talk about the pitfalls of kindergarten? Did you warn your child that there would be some mean kids? Did you linger on the subject of others who would take your child’s items? Other who would possibly bite your child? Others who would knock your child down at recess? Probably not. You focused on the good, positive aspects of kindergarten!
Again, my question today is…are you doing this with middle school?
Even though I suggest to parents to begin a middle-school-get-ready-protocol when their child is in third grade, and even if you are experiencing middle school parenting now, you can still begin today to pre-pave the way for the rest of your child’s middle school experience.
There is significant purpose of middle school and magnificent opportunity for tremendous positive growth in middle school. Middle school isn’t just a holding place for your child until he or she can be rational, mature, and responsible. No! Middle school is where the foundational stepping stones are laid for the rest of the developmental stages. The middle school years are tremendously important!
It is a HUGE parental opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your child’s teen years. This is a pivotal point. A lot of the positivity and success depends on you. Not all of it, but a lot of it. So what you focus upon, point out, and talk about today and this point forward will determine to a great degree what the end result will be today…tomorrow…a year from now…into your child’s adult years…and waaaaaaay into your grandkids’ lives as well.
Think about it. How you parent your child today will most likely result in a particular pattern of behaviors – hopefully, desirable behaviors. Your parental pattern today will most likely be carried on into your child’s parenting pattern for your grandkids. In this elongated view, you are influencing several generations of your ancestral line. What kind of parenting legacy do you want to live and leave? It begins today.
BUT, we know it wasn’t all like the above description. It’s the same with middle school. Yes, there are many negatives and challenges I could list here, but what kind of middle school path do you want to pre-pave? The path filled with nails and tacks spewed everywhere or the path that is fun with a few bumps in the road?
It’s time to decide because as the parent you have focusing power for your middle school child. Is life a half-empty or half-full glass?
Can you tell your child, “It’s going to be wonderful! You’re going to have so much fun! There will be new experiences that you’ll love. You’ll make new friends! You’ll learn so many things! Each day will be a wonderful adventure!” as well as, “There will be situations that I will help you through. We will create solutions together. The benefits of middle school outweigh the challenges. You’ll grow tremendously from all the experiences you’ll have. You have a more defined view of friendship by the end of middle school. You will be wiser when it comes to seeking your activities, friends, and clubs. You’ll be prepared for high school academics!”
Yes! That is pre-paving the way to, during, and after middle school!