The Changing Expectations
As they are trying to figure out this phase and who they are, middle schoolers can jump back and forth from acting very childish to acting like an adult. It is very important that we as parents maintain consistency during this period of constant fluctuation. Just like there is push back during the “two year old phase”, we need to expect that during this phase as well. We need to have a set of clear boundaries for our middle schooler, a set of rules that don’t change regardless of their mood. We can also begin to allow for a little bit more freedom where our child can practice trust. We need to have a plan set in place for when they don’t deal well with the freedom. For example, maybe the freedom you allow your middle schooler is a cell phone. There are boundaries place around that new freedom, such as not allowing the phone in their bedroom at night. Be prepared with an already set up consequence if the phone ends up in the bedroom and follow through with checking to make sure the phone is where it needs to be. Look at these years as the practice years for high school where even bigger amounts of trust will be given. As in any kind of practice they won’t do it perfectly, be prepared with consequences for those times, but on the flip side be prepared to cheer when they succeed.
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.