Sitting here with my daughter as she practices — and masters — her GYM LOCK (oh, excuse me, P.E. lock). Takes me right back to 6th grade. AHHH! The stress of the number combination — to the right, to the left, past the number to the second number, back exactly to the last number. Quickly . . . Quickly . . . QUICKLY! . . . because I only have 2 more minutes to change — in front of everyone! The joys of middle school. Who can forget them?
As our kids transition to middle school, do we actually worry more about it than they do? I think, perhaps.
Remember when we sent them to Kindergarten? We wondered — we really wondered — we even worried — if they were ready. They were ready. It was, dare I say, we that weren’t ready. But we let them go. Because we had to. We waved goodbye to the bus or walked them into school. We wondered all day if they would survive. Okay, we wondered just how they would survive. And survive they did. Quite well, I suspect.
And they, too, will survive the transition to middle school. They will because they’re ready. They were ready for Kindergarten, and they’re ready for middle school. Funny how that happens. Almost overnight?!?! Or, did we just notice (after the fact)?
I venture to say that we all share good — and not so good — memories from m-i-d-d-l-e s-c-h-o-o-l. Some I’d like to forget. But I also know that whatever transitioning moments happened in middle school certainly didn’t kill me, so I suspect they made me stronger. Built my character. Forced me to figure it out (that’s why we parents are not really invited into middle school now, you know.).
Let the character building begin. And let it continue. And try not to worry. Try not to project your worries, your concerns, your (shall we say just a little bit of angst?) onto them. Stay tuned in, and stay close enough to listen. Check to see if there is anything on their minds (or even on their hearts) — anything they’re wondering about or thinking about related to middle school, and all that stuff. What the heck, share a middle school story or memory with them. And give ’em some milk and cookies. It never hurts.
How is your adolescent transitioning? Stay tuned for other (shall we say smelly?) transitions . . .