Middle school was the worst. It was a long time ago. But, I remember not knowing “me”. That meant there were a whole lot of other things I didn’t know as well.
My body was changing. I thought I knew everything. My parents were so stupid. And, of course, my life was the worst. (Insert teenage angst here.)
My daughter will be starting middle school soon and I’m pretty sure she thinks a lot of these same things.
More than anything I want to be there to help her with a few things. What I really want to do is walk behind her in school and whisper things like:
- Don’t talk to her, she talks about everyone and she’s not nice.
- That boy will be trouble in 5 years.
- Smile at that boy, he thinks you’re pretty.
- You hate this class now, but you’ll be glad you paid attention later.
I can’t be with her every day in middle school. All I can do is try to share some very important things with her before her first day.
Deep down I think she would like me to be there to help. Though, we all know, she would never admit it.
Important Things About Middle School My Daughter Needs To Know
Be nice to everyone, but make 1 or 2 BEST friends – Make sure you have a small handful of friends you can really count on. You will need them. It’s ok to be nice to the rest. But not everyone will have your back. Make sure you know who your real friends are.
Be yourself, but fly under the radar ~ It’s ok to listen to your own music, wear what you want and have our own interests. But, trust me, middle school is probably not the time to go out on a limb and really stand out. Everyone is trying to figure out who there are. Unfortunately, when kids march to the beat of their own drum the other kids aren’t always nice. Whenever possible, stay in your own lane!!
Girls can be mean – Don’t be one of them. The backstabbing and conniving started in 4th grade. Neither one of us were ready. It was a rude awakening to find out that while they are all still playing with dolls at home, at school they are already leaving mean notes for each other, spreading rumors and telling everyone “we are NOT talking to HER”!! That’s when we started the conversation about having 1 or 2 best friends.
Mean words cannot be unsaid ~ If you say something that hurts someone, you can’t take it back. You can and should apologize, but it can’t be unsaid. Be careful.
Boys can be stupid ~ Cute boys are inevitable. She’s already started noticing them. She needs to know that there will be a lot of very nice boys that she might overlook. But, at this age, boys are noticing girls and don’t want their friends to know about it. So be prepared for boys (even nice boys) to say really dumb things especially in front of their friends. They are figuring things out too.
Let them be surprised ~ If you’re smart, that’s awesome. If you’re terrific at a sport, even better. Don’t show off. Don’t brag. It just gives kids one more reason to give you a hard time. My daughter is a black belt in karate. The kids have already started saying things like “that’s not a real sport” and “oooh you think you’re so tough because you know karate”. We tell her not to talk too much about karate, that way if she should ever have to defend herself her opponent would be very surprised.
Your body will change ~ Everybody’s body is changing. It’s normal, no matter what anyone says.
There will always be someone who wishes they were you ~ While you are wishing you had her hair, or her personality or her clothes, there are just as many girls who wish they had what you have. When you get upset because you didn’t get an A on a test, there will be someone in your class that wishes they could get better than a C. When you are complaining about how embarrassing it is for your parents to drop you off at school, there is a kid in your class who wishes their dad could be there to pick them up. Every time you complain about the food that was packed in your lunch, there is at least one kid who wishes they had all the food you probably threw away. Be grateful!
None of this will matter soon ~ School won’t last forever. Remember that you are loved. You are special and there is life after school!
I can’t be there sitting next to her in class. So, I hope I can teach her some very important things before she starts this next phase of her life.
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