Tips for Parents

Tips For Parents: How to Survive Middle School Again

Middle school is a time of change, and most students go through several stages and lots of ups and downs.  The tips below will help you guide and advise your child as he/she goes through middle school.

  1. At the beginning of each grading period, sit down with your son or daughter, and together set realistic academic goals for each class.
  2. Encourage your child to be involved in extracurricular activities, and show your support by attending performances, games, etc.
  3. Make sure that your child understands that he/she is expected to be in school, on time, every day.
  4. Attend all open houses and parent conferences.  Also, regularly check your school’s Web site for information and updates.
  5. Write down the dates that midterm reports and report cards come out, and expect your child to bring them home.  If you don’t see one, call the school and request a copy.
  6. One of the biggest challenges for middle school students is being organized.  Make sure that your child has a system for recording assignments, taking notes, keeping his/her backpack organized, etc.
  7. Realize that it is your child’s responsibility to get homework done, to prepare for tests, and to follow the rules.  Helping with homework is fine.  Don’t do the work for them.
  8. Work together with the school.  Teahcers, counselors, and administration are there to help your child get the best education possible.
  9. Make sure that your child is not spending too much time on the phone, playing computer games, or watching TV.  Set limits.
  10. Look for opportunities to praise good grades and extra effort.
  11. Make sure that your child is taking the appropriate courses.  If you have a question, talk to your child’s counselor.
  12. Talk to your child about what’s happening in school and be a good listener.  If your son or daughter says something about school that concerns you, please remember that what you are hearing is from your child’s perspective.  If you have a question or concern, don’t hesitate to call the school.
  13. At the beginning of middle school, explain to your child that you will be checking on where he/she is going, and with whom.  If your child knows that you are checking, he/she will be less likely to do something that you would disapprove of.
  14. If you suspect that your child is drinking or using drugs, talk to them immediately.  If you need help or advice, talk to your child’s counselor or to your family doctor.
  15. When appropriate, encourage your child to take care of things on his/her own.  By doing this, your child will learn independence and gain confidence.
  16. If you are trying to change a behavior, first make sure that your child knows exactly what your expectations are.  You can then offer rewards if your expectations are met, or consequences if they’re not.
  17. Put the computer in a common room and monitor your child’s Internet activity.
  18. Make school a top priority.  Nothing is more important to your child’s future than education.