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Smoothing the transition from elementary to middle school

They say puberty is hard We turn ugly and all awkward Not sure how to overcome the change When everything seems strange Mom and Dad, will you be my back? Can we together make this crack!

Remember when we wanted to talk to our parents about our feelings, fear, anxiety, plans and happiness? And that turned out as a bad idea! Most of our parents just heard but failed to listen, a few of them scolded us for talking nonsense and failed to empathize, and a lot of them said they were running out of time. Haven't we promised ourselves back then, no matter what, we will be for sure a great parent?

During middle school, a teen has to undergo a lot of changes. The new building, new uniform, new schedule, new friends and new teachers. One thing that parents often fail to understand is school is not only a place to shape kids in terms of grades. It is a place where a teen builds confidence, understands friendship, develops a personality, follows a passion and most importantly finds out what they are good at.

In today’s era, parents do have a lot of professional baggage added along with responsibilities. This is not at all easy. You can achieve the best employee spotlight award by working all day and night but getting a trophy from your child as the best present ever, is no less than a gold medal. Trust me. How about helping your kid for a smooth transition to middle school? Listing down a few important pointers to help your kid with nothing but the best during this transition.

A: Get: Upgrade the understanding about your teen’s life:

Frequent catch-ups, every day: Here is a piece of advice for all the parents. “Be the advocate of your kid” Take some time daily from your busy calendar and talk to your growing up teen in detail. Talk about what is going on, how their day went, and what they want to eat tomorrow. Talk about the little things that make them happy. Chat about what is something they are stuck at. There might be a possibility that these teens are having a hard time making friends or understanding a concept or subject. Understand what perspective they hold, instead of suggesting the standardized do’s and don’t. Just remember, handling things with patience and calmness always yields fruitful results.

Spot the opportunities: Most of the kids hold love for a specific subject and act ignorant for subjects that they do not like. Being a parent, you have to identify the areas of improvement and prepare a plan to work on them together. Once you know that there is a subject or two that they aren’t willing to put effort into, prepare a storytelling strategy for those subjects. Make that subject fun and interesting with your creativity. A couple of tutorials can help you and your kid here. The best way is to study those subjects together so that the lessons can be learnt quickly as this generates a sense of belongingness and a memory together. Don’t forget to appreciate the interest they hold in their favorite subject.

B. Set: Help juveniles build themselves.

Greet puberty: Moving to middle school is also a call to puberty and a start of adolescence. The changes during puberty are challenging. A teen girl might get her first period in the classroom, a young boy can feel ashamed of his pubic, underarm and body hair, and one can have a constant battle of emotions within themselves. This is honestly a phase where a teenager goes through a lot. Being a parent, you have to program your child on how to feel comfortable in their own skin, how to be confident and how to accept puberty. Do not hesitate in making the first move to talk about puberty, emotional conflicts, sex and healthy habits to get adapted to.

Help pubescent to overcome the fear and anxiety: You have to agree here, that half of the fear goes away when we talk about it. Teenagers often face anxiety and fear with particular situations or things, such as crossing the road, public speaking, driving bi-cycle, performing in front of people or maybe some childhood trauma striking the flashbacks often. Be curious and responsible enough to know what your kid is afraid about. Make your teen believe that it’s completely natural to have fear and they can definitely overcome those via different methodologies. Dive deep into their anxiety zone and bring the best out of your kid offering various feasible solutions. While the young fellow is talking his heart out, don’t laugh or scold them about the situation, it might block the transparency between you and your child.

Appreciation and motivation are the keys: We all have an emotional need for appreciation. So do the teens. Appreciation boosts teens’ self-esteem, brings confidence and makes the little champs feel happy and right. I will bring a fact. Most Kids go slow in terms of learning post age of 8 years and why is this? This is because we often forget to appreciate our little stars for the good they are doing. Boost your child's morale. Often say, You are proud of your juvenile and pour enough motivation so that they can trust themselves and achieve what they want to!

C. Go: Work together as a team

Ask your teen to prepare their own schedule: In the era of online learning & advanced learning, parents want their kids to be all-rounders which is practically impossible. We, humans, are blessed with flaws and you cannot eliminate all of it from anyone you know. Yes, being a parent you are accountable for your kid’s health, happiness and success. But do you know what success means to your kid? Maybe they are not dreaming of a Villa having a walking wardrobe in it along with a Ferrari. It might be possible that they see themselves as the upcoming Shakira or the very talented Roger Federer. You have to identify what activity they can do throughout the whole day. The moment you realize your kid holds an interest in a particular field, don’t stop or criticize teenage stars from pursuing that. Yes, being a teenager they have to focus on their study and grades but do remember that grades do not decide the future. It is the will, interest and risk, a human being is willing to take which frames the way to their defined success. Similarly, if your kid spends all day in the field playing basketball, help him/her to allocate some fixed hours for studies as well with a friendly gesture and polite tone. Suggest some great tools to maintain the schedule.

Teach adolescents how to select friends wisely: Friends are not only a bunch of people to hang around with. Friends do make you believe in yourself. They walk with you on the right path and make the journey more memorable. Of all the emotions out there in the world, friendship is one of the most precious ones. So while you talk to your kid about their friends, do ask ‘what made you choose your friends’?. The answer lies in your kid's statement. Don't skip to spot the little and small details about their behavior and thoughts. If possible, try to organize a small party with a lot of games in it. This will help you to understand how they treat failure, how they celebrate victory, how they enjoy being together, what level of anger they carry and various other psychological behaviors. Afterwards, decide if the tribe can learn and grow together. In case you don’t feel right about any of the kid vibe and activity, do raise certain red flags before, without portraying a negative expression. This helps your kid to take your words as suggestions rather than a command or order.

Wish you a productive, happy and memorable parenting.



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