Three Way to Help Your Middle School Student Succeed
If you are the parent of a child in middle school, you know that the preteen years usually have their own set of unique challenges. Children in middle school are going through the difficulties of puberty, likely facing peer pressure at school, developing new social circles, and trying to establish their own identity. Here are some tips to help you as you support your child make it through the middle school years.
First, choose a school that will best support them. One suggestion is to look into private schools in your local area. There are currently about 5.3 million students enrolled in the total of 30,861 private schools in the United States. One of the benefits of private school education is that the schools are often smaller than public schools — the student to teacher ratio is 12.5 in private schools, as opposed to 15.4 in public schools. A smaller private school will help your middle school student to be more connected to their educational experience, since there are fewer students and the teachers’ attention isn’t as divided among so many other students.
Secondly, know their friends and limit their involvement in social media. By knowing who their friends are, you are aware of the character of the people that your child is interacting with on a day to day basis. If you notice significant changes in your child’s behavior or the behavior of their friends, it could be an opportunity for a conversation about significant events in their lives. It’s also helpful to be familiar with their parents and to have open lines of communication about everything from carpool schedules and school activities to potential bullying situations. This is also why limiting your child’s involvement on social media might be something to consider. Many students engage in social media around the middle school years, and while it can be a fun way to communicate with their friends, there’s also the potential for cyberbullying or other negativity. Make sure your child is aware of the benefits and potential dangers of social media.
And lastly, encourage your child to participate in activities at their school. Whether it’s being involved in athletics, music, or striving to be in the honors program, working hard and having success at school will equip your middle school student with a broader skill set to take with them to high school. It will also increase their self-confidence. And just as your child is involved in their middle school, it’s also recommended that you find a way to get involved. You can join the PTA, attend the school’s play performances and games, and go to the parent teacher conferences. The more you make yourself available to be involved in your child’s life, while allowing them to create their own identity in a safe space, the easier it will (hopefully) be for them to navigate their way through the middle school years.