Middle School Parents Newsletter

  • Help your middle schooler solve problems in five steps

    Posted by Newsletter on 12/8/2019

    “I don’t have enough time to finish my project.” “I don’t think my teacher likes me.” These are typical problems facing middle schoolers.

    While it may be tempting to solve your child’s problems for him, it’s far better to help him sharpen his own problem-solving skills. Teach your child this five-step method:

    1. Define the problem. Before your child can solve a problem, he needs to understand what that problem is.
    2. Brainstorm solutions. Once your child has defined the problem, have him list possible solutions. During this step, don’t let him get bogged down in analyzing each idea—he should simply list every solution that he can think of.
    3. Evaluate the options. Now that he’s come up with several potential solutions, your child needs to weigh the pros and cons of each. Which solution seems especially strong?
    4. Make a plan of action. Your child should choose the solution he thinks is best and devise a plan to carry it out. Let him follow his plan by himself, but offer guidance if he’s unsure how to proceed.
    5. Reassess the situation. How is his plan working? Is it helping him solve the problem or reach his goal? If yes, wonderful! If not, suggest that your child go back to the “evaluating” step and try another solution.

    Reprinted with permission from the December 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.

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  • Remind your child that there is no such thing as online privacy

    Posted by Newsletter on 11/24/2019

    Use of social media sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube is on the rise. Millions of middle school students have created accounts on social- networking sites to share their thoughts, photos and videos.

    However, experts warn parents about the dangers of children using social media. Adolescents often like to take risks and tend to have low impulse control—which is why it’s absolutely vital for parents to monitor what their kids post.

    To help your child make the best choices while on social media:

    • Talk to her about her online “friends.” The accounts your child creates should be viewed or followed only by people she allows.
    • Remind your child that nothing can ever be completely removed from the internet. She should think carefully before posting anything that would damage her reputation or someone’s friendship.
    • Talk about values. Remind your child that if she wouldn’t do or say something in real life, she should avoid doing it and saying it online.
    • Stress safety. Your child should never post information that would allow someone to locate her in real life. She should also never arrange to meet anyone she has met online.

    Reprinted with permission from the November 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: V.L. Dunckley, M.D., “Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids,” Psychology Today, niswc.com/mid_socialmedia3.

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  • A good night’s sleep is key to your child’s school success

    Posted by Newsletter on 11/17/2019

    Student reading A vital factor in your child’s education happens far outside the classroom. It’s sleep, and it’s critical to her success in school.

    Unfortunately, according to recent studies, 60% of middle school students do not get the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep per night they need.

    To determine whether your child is getting enough shuteye, ask yourself:

    • Does she fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed?
    • Can she wake up fairly easily in the morning?
    • Is she alert all day—with no reports from school about her inability to focus in class?

    If you answered yes to each question, chances are your child is getting adequate sleep. But if you answered no, it’s time to:

    • Enforce a regular bedtime. Don’t let your child sleep in more than two hours past her normal wake time on the weekends.
    • Limit caffeine intake. Watch for this stimulant in things like soda, iced tea and energy drinks.
    • Ban late-night screen time. Research links lights from devices to problems sleeping.
    • Keep her cell phone and other digital devices out of her room overnight. Your child needs to be sleeping, not checking social media!

    Reprinted with permission from the November 2019 issue of Parents Still make the difference!® (Middle School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2019 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: “Sleep in Middle and High School Students,” Centers or Disease Control and Prevention, niswc.com/mid_moresleep.

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