Helping Your Child Transition into Middle School
Talk with your child.
What are you most excited about?
What are you most worried about?
How can I help?
Listen for unstated feelings. 95% of communication is non-verbal! Watch for body language and tone of voice.
Be ready to talk when your child wants to. Drop what you are doing and listen with complete attention.
Focus on positives…
Emphasize more independence.
There will be greater opportunities in sports, music, and other activities that interests your child.
Point out that your child will feel and act more like an adult.
Have your child take part in orientation programs…
Attend open house with your child.
Take your child to getting to know you activities and sporting events at the middle school.
Visit the middle school with your child…
Learn the physical layout of your child’s classroom, lockers, school offices, and cafeteria.
Get to know the principal, teachers, counselors and other school staff.
Find out what supplies or uniforms your child needs.
Help your child be his or her best.
Make sure your child has an academic planner (available at East Middle). Encourage your child to use the planner to write down assignments and due dates of projects and tests.
Have your child use color coded notebooks for different subjects.
Get your child a 3 ring binder with color coded dividers to coordinate with the colors used for the notebooks.
Mastering bigger projects…
Encourage your child to start early
Show your child how to break larger tasks into smaller chunks.
Encourage your child to ask for help when he or she needs it.
Check on your child’s progress regularly.
Setting up a study routine…
Help your child create a quiet and comfortable place to study.
Create a time each day for reviewing class work and doing assigned homework.
Help your child make a schedule to help balance all his or her activites, including free time.
Set limits on TV and recreational computer use.
Nurture a love of learning.
Praise your child’s successes and efforts...
Highlight and attend to your child when he or she does well, not just for problems.
Encourage effort and help your child build confidence by showing that you believe in him or her.
Make your home a “learning resource”…
Try to keep books, music, magazines, puzzles, and work games around.
Use your local library…
Help your child get a library card.
Encourage your child to borrow books and other materials.
Use other resources the library may offer, such as computers.
Utilize other local resources, such as museums.
Stay involved in school…
Stay active in parent organizations. Talk with school staff about ideas for improvement.
Volunteer if you can- to tutor, help out in the classroom or help with sports and other school activities. Attend events.
Friends and popularity are major issues.
Teaching your child good judgment…
Keep teaching your child values.
Encourage your child’s self-respect and respect for others.
Teach your child an understanding of right and wrong.
Be a positive role model.
Getting to know your child’s friends…
Welcome your child’s friends into your home.
Be sure that your house roles are respected at all times.
Get to know the interests and personalities of your child’s friends.
Get to know the parents of your child’s friends.
Talk to your child about dangerous behaviors…
Let your child know that violence, using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs and bullying are unacceptable.
Encourage positive social activities, such as sharing sports, hobbies and other healthy interests with friends.
Peer pressure can be both positive and negative.
Help your child have a positive self-concept…
Teach your child that it is OK to be different. For example, it is good to study extra hard even if his or her friends’ don’t.
Encourage your child to make friends with people who are different from you.
Help your child stick with a favorite hobby even if it’s unusual.
Act out difficult situations and methods of dealing with peer pressure.
Teach your child to use humor: “Smoking could probably help me run the mile in an hour flat!”
Or reasoning: “If you really cared, you wouldn’t pressure me.”
Or consequences: “ I’ll be grounded if I stay out late.”
Be reassuring about physical and emotional changes…
Point out that each child has his or her own timetable for development: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Reassure your child that it is normal of people to develop at different rates and that everyone reaches maturity eventually.
Other areas of concern.
Don’t accept bullying as normal. Let the school know of any bullying, including teasing and cyberbulling that you become aware of.
Teach your child the value of walking away from conflict.
Encourage your child to tell you or another adult instead of responding to cyberbullying.
Help your child understand how to appear assertive and self-confident.
Stress the importance of strong healthy friendships.
Both girls and boys are hurt by lewd talk, unwanted touching, and obscene images.
Remind your child to tell the person to stop the behavior, talk to you and report the incident to school staff.
Discuss race and race relations at home.
Set an example of valuing and respecting others and their cultures.
Expose your child to the art, music, and literature of other races and cultures.