Being in middle school is like being in a tug-of-war with both sides evenly matched. On the one hand there is the pull of the teenage years. On the other hand are the benefits of being a young child. Or a middle schooler could dread the coming of youth while wanting desperately to be done with being a child. It is important not to miss the particular struggles your middle schooler might have. He is beginning to function without the immediate and constant supervision of his parents. He does this even though new and sometimes dangerous influences enter his life. Should he listen to Mom and Dad or to the kids that are telling him that there is more to life than what he knows? The opportunity to form solid new friendships exists. But, it is no secret that sex, drugs, pornography, bullying and even gambling have made inroads into middle schools.
The scary part for parents is that there are increasingly more influences in their children's lives that they are not aware of. So what can you do to shepherd your middle school children without giving them a lie detector test each afternoon and attaching a body cam and GPS to them?