The Mommies Network Introduction

Our Mission is to provide a safe, secure, FREE place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be better women, parents and community leaders
The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community. We were founded April, 2002 and currently have 119 communities in 33 states, with over 30,000 active members nationwide.

Find out more here : www.themommiesnetwork.org ~~Follow us on all the social networks Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram LinkedIn Google+
If you're interested in a guest blog, sponsorships or working with us please email blogs@themommiesnetwork.org for information.
Please Note: Posts on this site may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read our full disclosure statement

Friday, November 14, 2014

Middle School Makeover Part 9: Dating and Independence



Middle School Makeover Part 9: Dating and Independence

Scenario #10: Going Out, Going Nowhere

In this scenario, Michelle discusses the issue of how to handle when your child begins “going out with” someone. She suggests tackling this the same way you take on your middle schooler developing friendships with a child you’re wary about—by limiting activities, not people. Forbidding your child to spend time with someone will make them more appealing, instead suggest that they spend time at your house where you can supervise and assess the situation. The same applies for who he/she dates. You cannot pick who your child is attracted to.

Before becoming alarmed and jumping to conclusions when your middle schooler starts “going out with” someone, get a clear definition of what this means. To some, it simply means holding hand in the hallway, to others it means supervised dates. Find out what limits are important for you to set and discuss them clearly with your child so they understand your concerns and reasons for setting rules.

You should also view this as an opportunity to discuss what to look for in a partner with your child. Talking with them early about this can set them up for success in future relationships.


Scenario #11: It’s a Great, Big World out There (Emphasis on Great)

A parent asks Michelle how much independence is too much for a kid at this age, concerned about her son’s request to bike two miles alone to a shopping center. It is important to take into consideration personal factors such as your child’s maturity, what kind of neighborhood you live in, etc. But, it is also necessary to factor in the benefits to your teen gaining independence. As stated before, “A tween’s middle school years are all about developing an identity apart from him parents” (page 139); for this reason, once you are confident in your child’s knowledge of safety rules and responsibility, it is a good idea to consider letting them branch out and take on more independent tasks. Although it can be scary, and sometimes sad, to watch your child grow away from you, these experiences are an important part of them growing up to be successful, confident adults.


Scenario #12: “Get Him out of My Room!”

It is inevitable that siblings will disagree. Michelle uses this suggestion to suggest not intervening obviously or right away. Let’s follow the example given, that a thirteen-year-old daughter is picking on her younger brother. Instead of punishing her, which may not get to the root of the problem, take the opportunity to teach your son how to blow off someone who isn’t being nice. Teach him how to shrug it off or use the “botox brow” you learned in earlier chapters.

Sometimes, siblings will fight hard, and Michelle offers a list of suggestions for this on page 144:

            Separate them, literally in neutral corners of separate rooms
            Wait before reacting to a sibling argument
            Approach kids separately and privately about sibling issues
            Do not make comparisons between kids
            Teach your kids how to respond to provacation without making the issue worse
            Express empathy with both children
            React to antisocial behavior with antisocial consequences

It isn’t your job to make your children like each other, but you can mediate problems between them and help teach them how to be civil in rough situations.


Scenario #13: Going at Different Speeds

All kids develop socially at different rates. While some preteens will become interested in boys/girls, others may still like playing make believe. And this is completely natural, however it can leave a child feeling left out. Even though you may want to help, the best thing you can do as a parent is to be patient. 

“You might think that you are encouraging your child to be more social by asking subtle questions about his peer interactions, but to him it probably feels more like pressure to perform than a gentle inquiry.” (page 148)

If you fret over your child’s social maturity and popularity, they may pick up on it and become self-conscious which will only hinder their situation more. Help your middle schooler pursue their own individual interests and enjoy him/her for who they are today—not who you are concerned about them becoming.


Thoughts for discussion:

How have you handled whether or not your child is ready to start dating? Was it effective?

What limits have you set on your child for independent adventures and going places on their own? At what age did you establish them?

Are sibling fights common in your household? How do you handle it with each child?
 
Have you experienced the feeling that your child may be socially behind others their age? Did you encourage them to find their own interests? How did you help them adjust?


Finishing Touches:

We hope you've enjoyed our Middle School Makeover book club blogs! Are there any sections you'd like to see more or less on? Any suggestions for other books you would like to see broken down and discussed? We would love to hear about it! Thanks for taking part, I know that I've enjoyed it!

-Tera

No comments :

Post a Comment

If you enjoy our posts,please leave some comment love! The Mommies Network is on Twitter (@MommiesNetwork),Facebook pages, Google+, Pinterest and many more!. Consider learning more about us via our website www.themommiesnetwork.org !