While seasoned parents have managed school shopping, immunization rules and the looming first crush, there are other factors that define the “BeTween” experience. While tween students push back on the idea of being babied, they still require clear guidelines, consequences and guidance. The 3 B’s: bullying, bed times and the borrowers can remind parents of tips for the year to come.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools has no tolerance for & a clear policy on bullying. It is important for all parents to read the handbook and review key information with their children. The increased use of technology & social media has opened a whole new world of cyber bullying. After years of skimming key handbook dates and highlights, understands the symptoms, impact and consequences of bullying is critical.
Middle school girls are particularly at-risk for bullying while hormones are evolving & the desire to fit in can outpace the use of learned coping skills. Having experienced a teacher that lacked empathy, social skills & sensitivity, gone are my days of believing teacher knows best. The school environment is at best a partnership. Knowing your child, understanding and encouraging school resources and maintaining open lines of communication are essential. Know your handbook as well as the role you play in establishing a good school environment.
Bedtime matters. Current research indicates that middle school children require anywhere from 8 – 12 hours of sleep a night. With a complex schedule of after school activities, sports and evolving study skills, it can be easy to treat middle-schoolers like miniature adults. They are not. We parent best when we realize the impact that lack of sleep and fatigue create when combined with a new environment, the challenge of learning a new routine and the stress of making and maintaining friendships.
The Borrowers, once a fanciful tale about little people who borrow things that we take for granted, now represents an affectionate term for the habits children can create in an effort to be more mature. Lancome and Biore are not created equally for daily cleansing habits, and parenting requires a regular tutorial on decision-making. My peers have shared their encounters with perfume, shoes, hosiery, athletic equipment and more being traded up in experimentation. Back-to-school includes reinforcement about not growing up too quickly and taking a few extra minutes to be thoughtful with our choices.
Reflective conversations about bullying, bed times and basic decision-making can serve as important back-to-school tips for any parent.