3 Lessons Your Middle School Aged Kids Need to Know to Survive

When kids enter middle school, many things are changing. Some are experiencing puberty and all are learning things about themselves that they didn’t realize as a child. Though they are not quite teenagers, they are close enough to that to start to want to be one. That means that many of them end up diving into things they know little about in the hopes of “growing up” a little quicker. This dangerous recipe is a common one across our Country as pregnancy rates, drug addictions and bullying problems dominate our nightly news. How do we prepare our children for the coming onslaught in public schools?

Here are three lessons that are absolutely vital to every middle school student...no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter may be:

There are no “safe” drug or alcohol options

Drug addiction is a horrific thing for a anyone, but it is a virtual death sentence for a kid this age. A child that starts in drugs this early in life is far more likely to stay addicted for a lifetime. Long before they go to middle school, you need to talk with them about all the things that they might face. Make sure they know the various drugs and what they look like. Make sure they know the tricks used to get them hooked. Make sure they know the consequences of “trying it” just that one time. We can’t close our eyes and hope for the best on this one. Get in there and talk it over.

Pre-marital sex is not an option - but they best know how to protect themselves

Teaching your kids about sex is never easy or comfortable, but it can become that way if you discuss it often enough. I want my kids to know all about sex and everything involved. I want them informed. Most of all, I want them to know how to protect themselves in the event they decide to disobey. I am not so foolish as to think my kids will always do what I hope for. When a mistake is made, I want to know about it and be there to help. Knowledge is power even for a middle schooler. Empower your kids to take care of themselves and share consequences alongside it.

Bullying comes in many forms...they are all wrong

Many people concentrate all their attention on preventing their kids from being bullied and I totally get why. We should arm our kids with the knowledge and ability to protect themselves. They also need to know what to do, who to talk to and how to report bullying behavior no matter how it happens. Bullying can be online, at school, after school and even on the weekends at social functions. No matter where it happens, it is wrong. Also, we have to take the time to ensure our kids are not the ones doing the bullying. Some kids have taken to being the bully simply to avoid being bullied themselves.

Each of these lessons are basic, but they are clearly missed in many households. Make sure your kids are prepared, empowered and informed. It is the least we can do as parents of middle schoolers.