Tuesday, April 3, 2018

MOMs in Middle-School

The Headlines:

I knew it was going to be hard. 

For HER.

What I didn't know is how hard it would be for ME

You ever notice how things change but really stay the same?  Even down to the name of 6th/7th/8th grade.  It used to be called Junior High when I was going.  Now they call it middle school.

It honestly doesn't matter what they call it... the name change doesn't make it any easier.  It's still, typically, the hardest time in a persons life.  Not just for the kids in school.

Everyone else in the family suffers too.  Especially Moms.  I first wrote something about my daughter entering "Middle School" back in August, when it happened.  You can read that HERE ... what I didn't know is how the transition would also affect me.  As a Mom, going through it with your child, it's like you're being traumatized all over again.  It's almost as if they throw you back into that very same situation that you experienced yourself ump-teen years ago.

But it's not you.  And as a parent that's the first thing you have to remember.  No matter how much your child cries.  No matter how hurt they are.  You have grown since those days.  You, as a parent need to keep a cool head.  You have to advise and diffuse.  Stoking the fire is not an option.  Putting it out is your job.  Though sometimes, the trauma and drama may feel like towering inferno... it is not.  No Fire Department is needed.

So put down the phone and talk to your child.  Let him or her vent.  Then take a moment... and think.  Think about how most all kids, especially at this age, are good.  They're just trying to muddle through this difficult thing called the "pre-teen" years.  They're dealing with raging hormones and changes they knew not physically possible.  They're getting challenged in school un-like ever before.  Sports are harder.  Emotions are stronger.  Parents seem meaner.

Friends... well they're there to help you through it.  Until they're not.

Remember in all "situations" there's one side, another side and the truth... which lies some where in the middle.  When times are tough I think about the fact that while my child is hurting, she probably also hurt someone along the way as well.   Because hurt people hurt people.  And all kids, this time in their lives... are hurting.  It's inevitable.  While you may always want to blame the other side, it takes 2 to have a "fight."

Our school year started strong.  It went down hill in the Fall.  I'll be honest, my daughter made some poor choices.  Not pretty but a part of growing.  I explained to her that by acknowledging the mistake we take that power away from the problem.  Then change happens.  Change did happen in our household.  Not just for her... but for our whole family.  I wrote about that HERE & HERE ... we took the opportunity to seize the moment and produce a difference.  It is, and always will be, a work in progress.

The work continues today.  But as we strive to be better, kinder, more forgiving people bad things will continue to happen... especially in middle school.  So what is a Mama bear to do?  If it was only as easy as producing a list on a blog.

It's not.

So everyday on the way to school  I will tell my kids 1 thing:  be nicer to people than they are to you.  Someday, it will come back ten-fold.

Will they be?  Everyday?  Of course not.  But if I say it enough times... it will resonate.  Then, she/they will be better than before.  I think it already seems to be working.  I see a confidence building, a heart that is warming, a head that is focusing.

Many times my daughter gets frustrated with me because she thinks I take the other side.  I don't take it, I help her look for it.  Because, like I said, there's always more than one way to look at a situation.  Like views of the same Sunset... everyone sees something different.  And I will help her sort through those views.  However painful.

This conversation can happen multiple times for us during any given week.  My best guess - that will continue through the next couple of years.  It's good for both of us... as we march through Middle School - together.  As long as... at the end of the day,  she lets me hold her and remind her -I love her.  Always will.  No matter what side she's on.

I'm forever on hers.

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