As a parent, there are many ways you can support your child during middle school to help them succeed. Middle school is a significant time for adolescents to start thinking about their future goals and aspirations. They begin to develop a deeper sense of their interests and passions and may even start to explore different career paths. Middle school is the time when kids start to become more independent and might socialize with peers outside of their immediate circle. They start to form deeper friendships, develop new social skills, and learn how to navigate complex social situations.
This is a period in your child’s life that can help them develop a positive self-image and a sense of self-esteem. These are the years when your child starts to make choices about who they want to be, what they want to do, who they want to be friends with, and what they want to be a part of in the future. It can be overwhelming and intense, and as a parent, there are plenty of ways to help your child succeed.
Here are 10 ways parents can help their child succeed in middle school:
- Establish A Routine
Middle school can be overwhelming for children as they navigate multiple classes and schedules for the first time. Your child will navigate many more assignments, a lot more homework, their first Honors classes, and new social settings while learning in six or more classrooms every day. Establishing a routine can help your child stay organized and on track. Encourage them to create a schedule for their assignments and activities, including time for homework, extracurricular activities, and relaxation. Breaks are important!
High-pressure environments will lead to burnout, and most young teenagers do not have the attention span to perform at their full potential if they are spending every second of the day worried about their schoolwork. Routines are important in ensuring your child stays on track, yet they are also key in making sure your child is taking regular breaks.
- Communicate With Their Teachers
Every student is different, and every child will have different needs. You know your child best, so it’s essential to stay in touch with your child’s teachers to understand their progress and address any concerns. Attend parent-teacher conferences, communicate regularly via email or phone, and talk to your child about their day and homework. If your child is struggling to understand a teacher’s expectations, you can work together to resolve any issues by establishing open communication.
- Create A Designated Study Space
Encourage your child to create a designated study space that is quiet and free from distractions. This space should be comfortable and equipped with the necessary comforts, such as a desk, chair, and adequate lighting. Working in the same space every day is a good way for students to get into the headspace they need in order to focus and perform.
- Encourage Healthy Habits
Middle school is likely to be stressful, and it’s essential for parents to encourage healthy habits like eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying active. A healthy lifestyle can help your child maintain their focus and energy throughout the day. Sleep is a constant issue for the majority of middle school and high school students participating in heavy course loads. Some students feel that there just is not enough time in the day to complete all of their challenging assignments while still prioritizing their sleep and rest. Memory and other brain functions take a huge hit when poor sleep becomes an issue. As a parent, it is a good idea to remind your student that they need to prioritize good sleep.
5. Foster Independence
Middle school is an excellent time to start fostering independence in your child. Encourage them to take responsibility for their homework, schedule, and activities. Offer guidance when needed but allow them to make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. Learning independence helps middle school students take responsibility for their own actions and decisions, which is very important. This allows them to become more accountable for their choices and helps them develop a sense of ownership over their lives as well. As middle school students become more independent, they gain confidence in their ability to navigate the world on their own. This can help them develop a strong sense of self-esteem and a belief in their own success.
6. Encourage Reading Habits
Reading is an essential skill that can benefit your child’s academic performance in all subjects. Encourage your child to read for pleasure, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or news articles. You can offer recommendations and create a reading list to keep them motivated.
7. Monitor Screen Time
Excessive screen time can interfere with your child’s sleep, attention, and overall well-being. Too much screen time can lead to a decrease in attention span, making it harder for middle schoolers to focus and retain information. This can negatively impact academic performance and overall learning. Monitor your student’s screen time and encourage them to engage in other activities, such as playing outside, reading, or focusing on a hobby. Setting guidelines for screen time and modeling healthy behavior can help children develop healthy habits and reduce the negative effects excessive screen time has on their brains.
8. Teach Time Management Skills
Time management is a critical skill that can help your child succeed in middle school and beyond. Effective time management allows middle schoolers to prioritize their tasks and focus on the most important ones first. This can help reduce stress and ensure that important assignments are completed on time. As a parent, you can teach them how to prioritize tasks, create to-do lists, and manage their time effectively. Time management is a valuable skill that can benefit middle schoolers in the long run, especially as classes get more challenging in high school and beyond. Time management skills can help them develop the organizational skills necessary to succeed in high school and college. Turning work in on time is important.
9. Encourage Socialization
Socialization is an essential aspect of middle school as children begin to develop their social skills and identity. Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular activities, join clubs, and make new friends. Meeting kids with similar interests is a huge confidence boost for students who are just starting to dive deeper into their academic passions. Having a strong, supportive group of friends will make a difference in your child’s life. Students who are isolated by their study habits or feel detached and stuck glued to their cell phones face long-term issues.
10. Celebrate Achievements
Finally, celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small. Middle school can be challenging, and it’s important to recognize their hard work and progress. Celebrating their achievements can help boost their confidence and motivate them to continue working hard.
There are many ways parents can help their child succeed in middle school. Establishing a routine, communicating with teachers, fostering independence, encouraging healthy habits, and celebrating achievements are just a few ways to support your child during this critical time. By offering guidance, motivation, and a supportive environment, you can help your child reach their full potential and achieve success in middle school and beyond. These formative years are important in practicing productive study habits, setting goals, and taking on more responsibility. Help your student find balance in their stressful school schedules by encouraging healthy breaks and strong friendships.
If your child needs academic support outside of the classroom, you should discuss working with a FLEX College Prep tutor who will build a plan that is customized to your child’s needs. Our instructors prioritize helping students find joy in their studies while gaining confidence and working to reach their goals. Additionally, FLEX Impacter Pathway helps students develop the skills they need to become strong collaborators, communicators, problem-solvers, and leaders. If your middle schooler needs support, check out FLEX College Prep
Students need to stand out in the competitive admissions landscape. FLEX College Prep is a team of the best strategists in the industry and takes a holistic approach to ensure students use their pre-college years in intentional, enriching, and personally satisfying ways. Since 2001, we’ve worked with families to help students unlock their potential and find happiness, meaning, and success in college and beyond.