Middle School Traps to Avoid

Your child should avoid these school traps for a better school year.

A group of kids staring at another boy
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If you have a child entering middle school soon, you'll want to make sure he takes a tour, registers for classes, and begins the year with a positive outlook. But you'll also have to be sure your child avoids the traps that middle school can sometimes present. If your child is getting ready to transition from elementary to middle school, be sure to talk about some of the obstacles he'll face, and how to avoid them. Avoiding these challenges will help your tween make the most of the middle school experience.

The Crowd Mentality

It's easy to get caught up in the social pressures of middle school, but you want to make sure your child thinks for himself and maintained his individuality. There is plenty of pressure in middle school to conform, but it's important that your child have the self-esteem and confidence to avoid bad behaviors just because "everyone else does it" or to give up on his interests or passions because the group doesn't join in. Continue to support your child's individuality and help him know when it's OK to join in and OK not to.

Losing Control

It might not be easy for your child to stay on top of homework assignments, projects, reading, and extracurricular activities. But letting them slide is an easy way to find yourself far behind very quickly. Be sure your child practices good time management skills, and develop a system so that you both can stay on top of things. Consider using an online calendar or another calendar that you display someplace accessible. Develop a schedule so that your child finds the time to get everything done.

Being Inactive

Middle schools offer students the chance to join clubs, participate in community service projects, try out for a sports team or a play, or join the school band or chorus. These experiences will enhance your child's middle school experience and may even help boost school enthusiasm in general. There's no reason your child can't find something to join during the middle school years. Encourage your tween to look into activities, clubs, or teams and support him if he decides to put himself out there and join. Your tween may even be ready to try something totally different, which is a wonderful way for him to discover hidden talents and interests.

Taking it Too Easy

Middle school is a time for students to take on a little more and to push themselves just a tad. You don't want your tween taking it easy during middle school. You also don't want your child pushing himself to the point of a breakdown. Ideally, your child should reach a little, by taking on new challenges, or by striving to improve study habits or even school goals. Ideally, your tween should learn a little about himself during middle school, so that when he enters high school he has a plan, a strategy, and goals in mind.

Being Negative

Negativity is the norm during the middle school years. Your tween may adopt some of the negative attitudes of his peers, but try to keep your child from always seeing the downside. Point out the upsides of middle school, and of growing up. Be sure your tween keeps active and has a life outside of school work. Above all, try to remain positive even when you think your tween isn't paying attention. You are still a role model for your child and have influence in his life.

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