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What Every Middle Schooler Wants Their Parents to Know

  • This Article was copied from www.allprodad.com

When our firstborn went into sixth grade I taught at-risk students at his school. I knew his teachers, the principal was an ally, I was aware of all the trouble spots, and Andrew had permission to come to my room if he needed help. Even with all that advocacy, middle school was a difficult time.

Negotiating hallways between classes, growing pains, awkwardness, discovering the opposite sex, new responsibilities, changing bodies and so much more. Middle school is one of the inevitable dreaded experiences of growing up. Then it comes around again via our own middle school kids, and suddenly we’ve forgotten everything we once knew.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the more we know the better equipped we are to help this is what every middle schooler wants their parents to know.

I’m still your little boy/girl.

Your child is experiencing the confusion of the no man’s land between kiddo and the grown up world. They may not say it quite this way, but your middle schooler wants you to know that they are still vulnerable, that they still need you, and that this recent growth spurt didn’t do anything to change the fact that they still need to be tucked in at night once in a while.

I want you to ask me questions.

For all the bravado, your middle schooler is desperate for your guidance. Your middle schooler wants to tell you what is going on during their day. They may just grunt when you ask, but while they’re grunting and rolling their eyes they’re hoping you ask another question, and they’re hoping you won’t give up.

I’m desperate for encouragement.

Your child is super self-conscious, not very self-confident, and very much looking for a sense of belonging. Consequently, by the time they’re well established in middle school your kids are beginning to believe every teacher and parent has it in for them. Please try to include at least a half-dozen positive affirmations for every negative, “no,” or reprimand you throw their way.

Bullying is real and I want it to stop.

A lot of teachers routinely look the other way because they just don’t want to be bothered. It’s important to know that bullying isn’t just shoving in the hallway, but racism, sexism (sexual harassment is already happening in middle school), hurtful remarks, snide comments, vandalism of personal property, intimidation, and obvious exclusion. But you won’t know what’s happening if you don’t ask, and the teacher can’t be an ally if they don’t know what concerns you. Your child seriously wants to sense your protective presence in some way. Your middle schoolers need to know you take this problem seriously.

I’d like to see you at school more often.

Believe it or not, your middle schooler needs to be aware of your presence, they miss you during the day, and they want to see the evidence that you’re involved. Your child not only thinks you are cool but is proud of you too. Middle schoolers love seeing you on campus, dad, and they want you to know their friends. It’s a simple matter of giving them a level of security they may not admit to but absolutely need.

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This article was copied from www.allprodad.com

7 Notes You Should Write to Your Children

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has shared with me about how he wrote many letters to his daughter in college, but she never said anything to him about it when they spoke on the phone or when they saw each other. He wondered if she ever even read them. One day when Jim was visiting her in her dorm room, he saw all of the letters he had written to her opened and proudly posted on her bulletin board!

Your children may not express their enthusiasm about your notes or even acknowledge getting them, but know that writing notes to them will impact their lives and always be remembered. Over the years, I’ve made it a practice to write notes to each of my children. I’d like to share the kinds of notes I’ve written and then show you how you can write those notes to your children as well. If you don’t feel like you’re the writing type or don’t know what to say, I’m going to try to give you some ideas and specific things you can say in your notes. Some of these notes you’ll write one time; others will be notes you’ll want to write on an ongoing basis when you can.

Here are the 7 notes you should write to your children:

1. Love note.

This is a note where you express your unconditional love to your children for who they are and validate their wonderful gifts. You can read what I wrote to my children in my How to Win Your Child’s Heart blog post.

2. Lunch box note.

Another way to uplift our children is to slip them a note in their lunchbox. My wife, Susan, and I found that just simply letting them know we’re thinking of them will encourage them through the day. Not sure of what to write? How about, “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “Have a great day,” or “Hope your test goes well.” You can even surprise them with a “Let’s go for ice cream after school” note. I’ve got some free, downloadable lunchbox notes for kids and teens you can use to get started.

3. Post-It note.

You can write little notes to your kids on yellow sticky notes and put them on their mirror, dresser, notebook or anywhere you want. Like lunchbox notes, these post-its are just quick words of encouragement to your kids. You might just say something like, “Way to go. An A in math! Awesome!” or “That was so nice that you encouraged your brother when he was down.” You can check out my How to Love your Family with Sticky Notes blog to see how we do it in our home.

4. Pillow Talk note.

As our children were growing up, Susan began to feel as if all communication with them was becoming instructional or disciplinary. So one time, she grabbed a spiral notebook, wrote a note to one of our daughters praising her for a nice thing she did for her sister and put it on her pillow. To my wife’s surprise, my daughter wrote back and placed the journal on her pillow. As a result, Susan developed the Pillow Talk journal so parents, like you, can write short notes of encouragement to their kids when they desire.

5. Forgiveness note.

Every parent makes mistakes in child-rearing. And every parent should ask their child to forgive them for those mistakes.  Sometimes a verbal, “I was wrong, would you please forgive me?” is appropriate. Other times, a written letter to your child is the way to go. Write to Right a Wrong.

6. Blessing note.

There is something inside every child that makes that child crave a good word from his or her parents. [Tweet This] When we bless our child, we are placing our “seal of approval” upon them and giving them power to prosper in many areas of life, including marriage, children, finances, health, and career. In addition to writing a note of blessing, you can also have a blessing ceremony.

7. College and career note.

Another thing I’ve done for my children is to memorialize, in writing, the most important things I tried to instill in them as they were growing up. Three of our five children are now in college or working.  Before they left our nest, there were four things that Susan and I taught them and always want them to remember. Here are the four things I penned to each of them.

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