If you are a parent, you may already know that the adolescent years can be tough- both on you and your child. It is hard to sit by and watch them navigate common middle school issues, including finding their own voice and avoiding trouble.
Help middle schoolers overcome age-related challenges and thrive:
Know who your child’s peers are during this vulnerable time in their lives. This is the age when peer pressure can first become an issue and, possibly, a negative impact. Drugs, Alcohol, skipping school, cheating- these are behaviors that are often planned or engaged in groups. Make sure that you know who your children are hanging out with and where they are.
Some kids are more susceptible to peer pressure than others due to the desire to fit in and belong. This is where self-esteem and confidence can play a vital role. Validate and reassure your child at every opportunity.
Take every opportunity to build self- esteem and foster a sense of self-worth in your child. Remind them daily of their gifts; cheer them on for confidence.
Middle school is a good time for kids to begin to learn about discipline and how it helps them reach their goals. This is around the time that teachers begin to assign homework, which is an exercise in discipline at this young age.
This is a time when kids begin to experience and learn about disappointment and rejection. This is a normal stage of development and it shows them how to adapt and utilize coping strategies. Children that never experience disappointment may grow to be reactive when things don’t go their way.
Bullying is no joke and with the emergence of modern technology, cyber bullying can be a problem. Be sure to monitor adolescents’ activity online and watch for changes in behavior that could indicate that they are experiencing bullying. Worried your child is a bully? Get involved immediately.
Middle school is rich with drama and histrionics; it can distract your child and prevent them from reaching their full potential. Do not let the drama of adolescence impact your child’s wellbeing; be an attentive ear and know the right things to say to your child to curb the daily drama.
Some ways you can help include:
- Remain calm and objective.
- Listen without interrupting.
- Encourage them to make new friends outside their circle.
- Always foster and advocate for respect.
- Deter them from taking it online.
- Assist in finding resources that may be of help.
- Never make them feel like a victim of circumstances.
- Remind them to always be kind to others- and themselves.
Dental health plays a role in forming a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Talk to the team at Reese Orthodontics for a consultation and appointment today.