What Your Middle School Kid Really Wants From You

When kids transition from elementary school to middle school, things change. Not only for the child, but for parents as well. Many times, the mild-mannered sweet kid that used to be your son/daughter turns into a complete stranger.

At this age, many changes are taking place within tweens’ bodies, and this will affect your middle schooler’s personality, including how they interact with you and the rest of society. Changes may be subtle, but you are sure to notice them.

So what does a middle school kid really want from you as their parent? We’ll take a look at some of the basic things kids of this age are looking for from their moms and dads.

One of the most important things you can give to your middle school kid is respect. This means you should stop treating them as if they’re still five and see them as the person they’re trying to become. They’re opinionated, and that could mean clashes with parents, but they also may want to be treated like a little kid. Confusing?

Don’t always be grumpy with your kid. After all, we all have our bad days, and they’re no different. However, many times that sweet child will be in one heck of a bad mood, but don’t judge them too harshly except when they are rude, which should not be tolerated.

Don’t think that just because you and your middle schooler are always arguing about chores, homework, behavior, and other unsavory things, they don’t want to spend time with you. They do, and you can show them you want to as well with something as simple as a smile. It can go a long way.

Let them make their own mistakes. This is a hard one for parents of middle school kids, but as they grow, you need to begin to let go. Not that they should be allowed to do whatever they want — after all, this is just middle school. But don’t hover over them, it drives them crazy. Be subtle.

If you think it’s bad seeing middle school drama on a daily basis, try to walk in your kid’s shoes every day. They can’t escape the drama, and many times they hate it more than you do because they are living it on a regular basis. This is especially important when friendships go wrong, which is common at this age of discovery. Your child will need you on their side more than ever.

One the biggest issues kids want you not to do is tell them what to do. A middle school kid (and it gets worse as they grow up) will fight you every step of the way and do exactly the opposite of what you ask of them. Just keep reminding them anyway when they forget.

In middle school, kids will start to ask for more privacy, so give it to them if they are deserving. You don’t have to be involved in every single aspect of their lives. Of course, you are still the parent, but give them some room. When you hang out together — which they still enjoy at this age — you don’t have to solve life’s problems, just chill, especially when they’re stressed out.

Finally one of the best things you can do for your middle school kid is to tell them something positive about themselves, even if it sounds corny and they roll their eyes of you. Chances are they will remember that time when you told them how sweet they are or how you love their jokes. It matters to them, you don’t realize how much.

Even though this is a very comprehensive list of what a middle school kid wants from their parents, it’s not definitive and the opinions expressed may change. Quite often. Don’t be upset, just keep loving them.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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