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By Nancy Firchow, M.L.S.
Some tips to help ease her academic concerns:
The best way to help your child through this transition is to keep a positive attitude about middle school. You may remember how clueless, awkward, and self-conscious you felt at that age. Empathize with her if she feels the same way, and tell her it's normal for middle school students to experience those fears and emotions. Reassure her that she will become more comfortable and confident with time. Remind your child that the school and the teachers want her to be successful and that she has what it takes to make it all work.
Most students make the adjustment to the routines and demands of middle school within a couple months. If your child is still struggling as fall gives way to winter, then a meeting with her counselor may be in order. Together, you, your student and the counselor can pinpoint specific trouble spots and brainstorm ways to get things on track.
Try to give your tween plenty of information about how things will work in middle school, but be careful not to overload her. Be proactive in sharing information with her while also encouraging her to ask questions. To prepare for these conversations, you may want to read through the "Middle School Transition Tips for Parents" — and offer your child the "Middle School Transition Tips for Kids." The more she knows up front, the more comfortable she'll be on the first day, and beyond.
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