Helping Your Daughter Adjust to Middle School

As your daughter approaches middle school, there can be a lot of changes that affect you both. She is maturing, her body is changing, and starting middle school will present a whole new set of challenges. However, there are several things that you can do to help her ease into the transition and set her on the right path to social and educational success.

Discuss the Changes

Before your daughter starts school, explain the kinds of changes she might encounter.

A heavier workload, having more than one teacher, and navigating through a larger school might be just a few things she’ll have to deal with. Give her the chance to ask any questions she might have so she’ll feel more secure about the changes.


Tour the School

Take advantage of the middle school’s orientation day or open house before school starts. Touring the school and letting her see the environment will alleviate her fears about the unknown.

If you have her schedule already, tour the different rooms and if possible, let her meet her teachers to allow her to feel more at ease.

Accentuate the Positive

Explain to your child that even though she’ll have more work to do, she’ll also have more independence. Middle school will present new opportunities for sports, clubs, and even music.

She’ll also meet new people from other elementary schools, which will allow her to make new friends.


Don’t Reflect Your Negative Experiences on Her

If you had a hard time in middle school, discuss them in a positive light.

For example, you can say things like, “I know you’re worried about making friends, I had the same problem when I was your age, but it worked out in the end.”

Discussing your negative experiences might cause her to believe the same things will happen to her and only increase her anxiety.

Talk About Homework

The homework your daughter will have will no doubt be more challenging than it was in elementary, but discussing the changes will help. You can also assure her that you’ll be there to help out whenever you can.

If she struggles in a certain subject, make sure she uses the school’s resources to keep up with the rest of the class, such as after-school tutoring and online assistance.


Don’t Overwhelm Her with Information

Don’t try and cover everything in one sitting. While there might be a lot of things you want to discuss with her and answer all her questions, doing it all at once will overwhelm her.

Allow her to ask questions throughout the course of the summer and the first few weeks of school so she can digest what you discuss in small chunks.

Work in Tandem with Her Teachers

Your daughter’s teachers can help you with her transition from elementary to middle school. Meet with them on your own to discuss the changes she’ll be going through and what individual challenges she might encounter.

Ask them what kind of resources they offer in their classes that might help ease the way for your daughter so that middle school is a joy for her, not a burden.

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