Middle school is a time of major growth with students trying out new identities and interests while also testing boundaries and rules. Peers become more important and so, too, can fitting-in. Parents, teachers, coaches and other invested adults can all help students feel good about who they are. And in an abnormal school year like this — these ideas help to create and maintain a sense of normalcy. Here are some ways we can collaborate together to support our middle schoolers:
- Be interested! Asking kids how their day was, what their likes and dislikes are, and including them in certain decision-making lead to kids feeling valued and that their opinions matter.
- Focus on the positive! Encourage kids this age to do new things and to keep going with hard things. When they do engage — praise. It’s not just about the outcome. Recognize the effort. Some students may never make a basket in basketball, but noting they try — can give them a self-esteem boost.
- Teach children to act and react. Middle school students might be in situations where communication could be essential. Discuss with them how they can behave in certain situations, so they feel prepared and even confident in responding.
- Keep up the feedback and corrections. Teaching core values and right from wrong is STILL a must. Shoot for positive ways that aim to teach them so they don’t tune you out.
- Love, support and value them! They need it now — as always. Spend quality time with them, show interest in their interests, and set and stick to limits and boundaries.
- Give middle schoolers age-appropriate tasks and chores. The initiative to get things done usually translates to improved self-esteem.
Progeny Academy provides an authentic educational program, for grades four through eight, grounded in inquiry-based principles and a nurturing social/emotional curriculum. We guide our students through the sometimes-challenging middle school years with goal setting, situational problem solving, and growth mindsets, all in our small, supportive classrooms. We are passionate about middle school and our safe learning environment for all. Students come first at Progeny Academy!