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Back to School Tips for Parents of Middle School Age Kids

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Middle school brings a whole new set of changes and challenges for kids and parents. Here are some tips to get off to a good start.

Parentfurther.com has some valuable tips for parents of middle school age children to help them start the year off right

1. If you and your child have fallen out of your bedtime routine this summer, get back into a solid routine! A week before the first day of school is a good time frame in which to begin.

2. Plan and shop for healthy breakfasts and lunches a week in advance. This will save you precious time and prevent much stress in the long run!

3. Go back to school shopping together. Most middle school teachers will provide specific lists of supplies for their classes. Your area’s office supply store may also have local school lists on hand. Shopping from a teacher-supplied list will ensure your child has the right supplies, and could save you a ton of money and time.

4. Starting middle school can mean a new building, lockers, and possibly moving from classroom to classroom for each subject. Pay a visit to your child’s new school the Saturday before opening day. A tour around the new campus can be a simple way to ease the first day jitters. Encourage your child to keep a small notebook with her where she can jot down reminders such as her locker combination or lunch time.

5. As much as you may dislike it, middle school is usually the time when fashion becomes important to kids. If you’re not already familiar with your school’s dress code, check your school’s website for a list of dos and don’ts. Take this opportunity to set clear guidelines about the type of clothes your pre-teens are permitted to wear, whether or not makeup is allowed, and talk about personal hygiene. Set clear standards with your child about her clothing allowance.

6. A move to middle or junior high school means more responsibilities. If you find that your child needs help managing his new middle school schedule, set up a daily assignment checklist to keep at home and review daily.

7. At this age kids may pull away and not talk to you as much. This type of middle school behavior can sometimes be influenced by peers or life changes—such as attending a new school. Continue to ask questions and be engaged with your kid. He needs you!

8. Around ages 11, 12, and 13, shifts occur in kids’ thinking. Keep them engaged in school and learning. Encourage their curiosity. Many are strongly influenced by friends; so if they have friends who only want to socialize and not learn, emphasize the importance of having friends and working hard to learn.

9. Because kids this age have strong emotions, they tend to either “love” school or “hate” it. If your child happens to “hate” school, help her identify parts that are more enjoyable—even if they are recess, gym, and lunch.

10. Most kids at this age think there is too much homework in middle school. Emphasize how homework helps kids learn. Do homework with them. Make it fun. Applaud their learning and new knowledge.

Here are more tips for getting your middle schooler off to a good start.

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