Middle Years Newsletter: March 2019
Respect: The 4th R
Treating people with respect can help your tween form strong relationships with classmates, teachers, and family members. Consider these ideas to help your middle grader show consideration for others.
Look for examples
Point out respectful behavior to your child, such as knocking on a closed door or being quiet while others are speaking or performing. Likewise, let her know what disrespectful behavior looks like. After a concert, you might say, “It was not nice when the people behind us were whispering. That was disruptive to the musicians—and the audience.”
Be a model
Middle graders are quick studies when it comes to life. What they see is what they learn. If you treat your child respectfully, she is apt to follow your lead. And if you embarrass her in front of her friends or invade her privacy for no reason, she will get the idea that actions like these are acceptable.
Make it clear that disrespectful language is never allowed. If your tween loses her cool and behaves rudely, suggest that she take a break. Tell her you’ll listen when she calms down. Letting her know that you won’t tolerate disrespect provides the guidance she needs to change her behavior.
Write a poem
Encourage your tween to experiment with language by writing a family poem. Together, make up a title about something your family loves (Tasty Tortilla Soup). Agree on a format, such as a limerick or free verse (no rhyme or regular rhythm). Then, take turns writing the lines, and let your child read your poem aloud when you finish.
If your middle grader leaves for school without something she needs (book, graphing calculator), resist the urge to rescue her. Handling the situation herself will teach her to be a good problem solver. She might find alternatives like borrowing from a friend who has the same class during a different period.
Did you know?
Taking an opioid, like Oxycodone, for as little as five days can lead to addiction. Share this fact with your teen, and explain that he should never take medication that isn’t prescribed for him. If he is injured or has surgery, ask his doctor about alternatives to opioids. And if anyone in your home takes an opioid, keep it locked up, and discard leftovers immediately.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi
Just for fun
Q: Why did the gum cross the road?
A: Because it was stuck to the chicken’s foot.
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