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It is OK to insist your child stay involved in something you know they love to do. Fight through it. Sometimes they just need to get past the initial scary feeling they have. If they still want to drop out after six months or a year, it is time to reconsider.
7. Not knowing your child’s friends … and their parents
Many times, middle schools bring together students from various elementary schools and your child suddenly has lots of new friends. It is ALWAYS OK to ask to meet the friends and the parents before allowing your child to hang out with them outside of school. You aren’t being overprotective or nosy. IT MATTERS whom your child spends his/her time with at and outside of school.
When this happened with my son this year, I hosted a holiday party and invited all of his friends to our house. This allowed me to meet his friend and the parents when the kids were dropped off.
I also walk my kids inside when we arrive at a friend’s house. This helps me get to know the parent and the setting better. And as a mom, I have learned to listen to my gut. If I get a bad feeling, I either ask lots of questions to resolve my fear or I don’t let my son stay long.
6. Not keeping up with your child’s grades
Now that your son/daughter is in middle school, they don’t need your help staying on top of their work, right? WRONG! It is more important than ever to help your child keep up with his/her work.
Your child has likely gone from having one homeroom teacher to six or more teachers. This is a huge transition and most students struggle at least a little with it.
Fortunately, technology allows most of us to see our child’s grades online through a web site, such as Parent Portal. If you aren’t looking at your child’s grades at least weekly, start now. Even though your child should still be responsible for his/her own grades, it is still your role as a parent to guide them to taking on this personal responsibility. Your child won’t wake up one morning spontaneously knowing how to do this. Parents and educators must guide them through this process.
Check back soon for the rest of the Top 10 Mistakes Made By Parents of Middle School Students.
Michelle Sutherlin is a NewsOK contributor and a middle school counselor in Norman, OK, who works with students ages 11-15 daily. She is also a mom to two boys, Ryan (12) and Will (9). She and her husband have been married for 16 years. For more articles about parents and middle school, check out her blog.
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