My kids are six years apart and I now see the extreme generation gap. Two years ago was their first and only time being at the same school. Last year was their first year in our new neighborhood. My teen went to the middle school for eighth grade and my then seven-year old went to second grade at the local grade school.
I thought my teen would be elated to attend a new school with more stability. Unfortunately for me addressing the full impact of being a new student was missed. There are definitely social challenges of being a new student for one year in a middle school. I realized most of the students have attended the middle school since sixth grade so of course the cliques were already formed. My teen is a bit of an extrovert and I often wonder is it because he was an only child for six years. I wished there was an easier way to make it an easy transition. The middle school starts early on with having the class bond with an overnight out-of-state trip for two nights. My extroverted child tried to back out of the trip but I blocked it out. Although he returned with grumblings(mainly because his phone was left home) I believe it was a fun trip. It was not until the end of the school year that he felt he wanted to participate in some activities. He attended the eighth grade dance after giving me two weeks notice that he wanted to attend. Also he participated in field day on the official last day of school. I guess it requires baby steps.
I have learned that providing stability requires a lot of patience. Although there is a lot of mixed emotions with starting high school I am hopeful this will be a great year.
My grade school child is the social butterfly. After a few months of being in her new school she knows practically everyone. She adapts very well in new environments especially when she finds friends with similar interests. After meeting one student they forged a really great friendship. Shortly after meeting they started writing daily notes to one another since they were in different classrooms. My little social butterfly was even invited to her first birthday party three months after school started. She is super excited for the new year to begin and I’m sure with her spirit and outgoing personality it will be PHENOMENAL!
As they prepare to start a new school year I feel better equipped to meet the challenges of the school year. One thing I learned is that as a parent you must be proactive with ensuring your child has the best experience possible. This means communicating with the school and staff.