Middle school can be exciting and terror-inducing. For the youngster, middle school is a whole new experience. There is the challenge of staying organized, managing lockers, dressing down for PE, changing classrooms, and more homework. Yet, there are also new kinds of relationships to be formed and strengthened; youngsters begin to exercise more discretion in their choice of friends and activities. Altogether, it can be difficult for parents to help their child deal with this stage. Yet offering youngsters words that will help them face the reality of the situation they find themselves in will help them pass through this stage successfully.
These are some truths you need to tell your boys and girls who are in middle school:
“You are great and no one should make you feel otherwise”
Let no one tell you who you are and who you are not, whether they are your teachers or bullies. Understand that you have demonstrated strength already by waking up and going to school every day. You have shown you can adapt and that you are willing to learn. There may be challenges now but at the other side of the door, there are so many exciting things that await you.
“Let your sense of success come from within”
Let no one mislead you with gratuitous accolades or flattery. You may be popular because you are great at sports, because you are gorgeous, or because you have lovely grades, but that does not quantify who you are and who you will become. It is easy to become misguided by the noise and distraction of wanting to be noticed in school, but like everything in life, this stage will soon pass.
“Always be aware of your environment”
It is difficult to know who has your interests at heart and who doesn’t. There will be a lot of people who come into your world with all sorts of claims. Listen to their opinion and observe their actions, but be careful whose company you choose and whose advice you listen to. Always be aware of your environment and what you can take from it.
“It takes time to reach your peak”
Even great minds like Einstein and Steve Jobs were not the most popular or most knowledgeable person in school. Becoming who you are meant to be is a gradual process. You may not be the admirable person you think you should be now, but don’t worry or be nervous about it. It takes time for the oak tree to establish its roots. Take your time and enjoy the process.
“Learn to be unique”
Many of your friends love to tailor their lives, appearance, and identity to what seems to be the latest trend. But this method won’t necessarily lead to success. Trying to be what you are not can end in tears. So try and make sure you approach life methodically, rather than mechanically. Learn to be unique and explain who you are to the world around you honestly- but never let the outside world define you.
“Be careful in the way you approach relationships”
Many people you meet in middle school you may never see again. Yet, learn to appreciate your relationships and give as much as you can to sustain them. The truth is that you don’t know how much your actions or words may influence the people around you- for better or worse. A kind thing you say to someone could stay with them always, serving as inspiration when they need to bounce back from dark times.
“Real friendships are not defined by technology”
We have so much sitting in between our friendships these days. There is social media, smartphones, chat apps- and it can be difficult to be able to really measure our friendships. Learn to reflect on your friendships. How much are you willing to give to the friendship and what do you really want from it? This kind of introspection offers value that goes beyond what technology has to offer.
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