Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Parent to Parent: Middle School
For most South Florida students - back to school is just two weeks away. But while many kids get nervous the first day, moving to middle school can be especially challenging. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Debbie shows us how to make the adjustment easy.
WSVN--Eleven-year-old Monique Perez-Medina has gone through a lot of changes this year.
Not only does she have a new baby sister, but after graduating fifth grade, she'll be attending a new middle school with new teachers and friends.
Monique Perez-Medina: "Sort of scared to go to school. It's new. Well because I don't know anybody there."
And she's not the only one who's a little scared.
Mom Isabel worries as maria gets older, some things can't be taught in the classroom.
Isabel Perez-Medina: "I know a lot more things are going to be presented to her. We talked about drugs. We've talked about drinking, we've talked about smoking, not taking anything from anybody."
According to 7 News Parenting Expert Dr. Debbie - that's exactly what needs to be done.
She says even though your children may be pulling away, parents need to be proactive with preteeens.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Elementary school certainly was challenging, but middle school takes on a whole new level of study skills and organizational skills. Kids are expected to really plan ahead without as much hand holding from their teachers."
To get them ready, Dr. Debbie says first talk to your child about the change.
Dr. Debbie: "So let your child know what to expect. Talk about the fact that there'll be different classes, different teachers, new faces, but make sure you give your child an opportunity to ask you questions as well."
Next, help them get organized by buying a planner.
Go to the school orientation, then do a mock run-through from classroom to classroom.
Dr. Debbie: "Make sure that they find the bus loop, make sure they find where the bathrooms are, make sure they see where the lunchroom and the gym are located, that these all aren't big surprises on the first day."
On an emotional level, realize even though your kids are going through a time of transition, don't be afraid to get involved in their lives.
It's especially important to talk to other parents and meet your children's friends.
Dr. Debbie: "Encourage them to bring their friends around so you get to know them and you can keep an eye on how they're doing for any red flags or warning signals to be sure."
Monique's looking forward to her first day of middle school.
But for mom, watching her daughter grow up has become a lesson in life and love.
Isabel Perez-Medina: "You think when they're small oh they're never going to make it to school and once they go through school, it's like wow kindergarten, first grade, that's it, now fifth. And now they're out of elementary already. Hopefully, she'll become a little more independent and mom will let go some."
Monique Perez-Medina: "I think it's a new adventure. Pretty much a new adventure."
Lynn Martinez: "Parents, you can also seek support from a school counselor or pediatrician."
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