Typical tween behavior - Signal Knob Middle School

Signal Knob Middle School
February 2015
Being assertive
Does your middle grader
know how to assert herself?
Have her practice clearly expressing
what she needs. If a friend borrowed
her sweatshirt and hasn’t returned it,
she could call and say, “I need it back
by tomorrow morning, please.” As she
gets more comfortable speaking up for
herself, her confidence will grow.
Extra reading time
Try this idea to get your middle grader
to read more. Consider letting him
stay up 15 or 30 minutes later if he
spends that time reading for pleasure.
Read in the living room as a family, or
he can read in bed. You might even
like to read the same book, then discuss it when you’re finished.
spend billions
? Companies
of dollars marketing to
kids. Help your child be a savvy consumer by encouraging her to notice
product placements, such as candy
bars as characters in video games or
soda cups on TV reality shows. When
she spots one, discuss whether it
influences her and how she thinks
it affects others.
Typical tween behavior
As your child goes
through the middle
grades, you can see the
rapid changes his body is
making. But his brain is
also changing, causing
normal tween behaviors
like these.
You might notice that
your youngster wants to venture off and do his own thing—
but still look back to see that you are
there. This gives him security and comfort. So let him have space and spend time
with friends, but don’t assume he doesn’t
need you. Ask about his life regularly, and
attend his school or extracurricular activities when you can. Also, plan fun times
together to keep him in touch with family.
Mood swings
One minute your child is cooperative
and pleasant, willing to vacuum the car or
play with his little brother. The next, he’s
slumped on the couch, communicating
only with grunts or shrugs. Tween moods
tend to shift quickly and without warning! You can help by staying calm and
Worth quoting
“Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own.”
Chinese proverb
upbeat. And where possible, save serious
conversations (“We need to talk about
your grades”) for when he’s in a more
receptive mood.
Middle graders don’t always stop and
think before acting. The good news is
that you still have influence over your
youngster and can motivate him to make
good decisions. Bring up important
topics often, and be clear about your
position. Example: “I’ve heard kids are
sharing prescription medications. That
concerns me because it’s dangerous and
illegal.” He will likely be listening more
than you know.
You’ve got my attention
Just for fun
Concentrating in class not only lets your child learn — it can
also prevent her from distracting others. Share these creative
strategies for staying tuned in:
■ Picture an imaginary tunnel between you and the teacher
When is a black cat very bad luck?
you’re a
as she talks. Purposely ignore anything that happens outside of the “tunnel,” like a classroom door opening or students whispering behind you.
■ Make predictions, and listen to see if you’re right. For instance, predict what
will happen next in the presidential campaign the teacher is discussing.
■ Use the SLANT method: Sit up in your chair, Listen, Ask questions, Nod when
you understand, and Track the teacher as she speaks.
© 2014 Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
Middle Years
February 2015 • Page 2
Learn with
Make it relate.
When your
middle grader has choices
in her assignments, encourage her to think about her
interests. For instance, if
she has to write word
problems for math, she
could make them about
fashion or music. If she
needs examples of natural
resources for an economics
report, she can look at the
country her grandparents
came from.
Learning doesn’t end when the last bell
rings. Help your child get as much as possible out of homework with these tips.
Be ready.
Have your tween gather everything she needs before she begins working. She’ll learn more if she doesn’t have
to stop to sharpen pencils, search for her
dictionary, or call a friend to find out which
problems she’s supposed to do. Tip: For handy
reference, she might bookmark class websites and
links to electronic textbooks.
Start the timer.
Suggest that your child pick one specific
task (making an outline) and set a time limit (10 minutes).
That will help her get going, and accomplishing something
may energize her to continue.
Forecast: A fit winter
Don’t let chilly weather keep your
family from being active this winter. Stay
fit—and have fun together —with these
three ideas.
1. Go sledding.
Balancing and steering
a sled, and walking back up the hills,
will give muscles
a workout. Your
child could pull a
younger sibling on
a sled, too.
2. Think summer.
Try traditional warm
weather activities like Frisbee or badminton in your backyard or at a park.
For a real summery experience, find
your beach towels and swimsuits, and
go to an indoor pool.
3. Create a fitness course.
your area get a lot of snow? As your
youngster shovels, he can pack the snow
into obstacles like mounds to climb and
mazes to navigate. In a milder climate,
he might build a course on grass with
cones to run around and hula hoops to
jump in and out of. Time each other
going through your course.
To provide busy parents with practical ideas
that promote school success, parent involvement,
and more effective parenting.
Resources for Educators,
a division of CCH Incorporated
128 N. Royal Avenue • Front Royal, VA 22630
540-636-4280 • [email protected]
ISSN 1540-5540
© 2014 Resources for Educators, a division of CCH Incorporated
Curing the “gimmes”
Q My son wants everything he sees. How can
there are limits on what he
I teach him that
can have?
A At this age, your child knows the difference
and wants— but he might not
between needs
always think about it. Remind him of choices you
make in your household. For instance, the water bill must be paid to keep
water running, but getting a new gym bag may have to wait.
Having your son pay for his own wants will help teach him the value of
Perhaps he gets an allowance or earns cash from odd jobs. He will quickly
results of his financial decisions. For example, if he buys too many smooth
doesn’t have money to see a movie with friends, maybe he will make better
choices down the road.
Parent How to boost critical thinking
I asked why people might be against it.
During my recent job
Parent search,
She thought about it and said a later
I learned that
critical thinking is a key skill employers
look for. So when I heard about a free
seminar on the topic, I decided to go. As
the presenter spoke, I realized the information could help my eighth grader, Josie.
For instance, critical thinkers analyze
situations from different viewpoints. I
told Josie that I’d heard our
school district was considering later start times for students, and I asked her
opinion. She thought
it was a great idea (of
course— she would get
to sleep later!), but then
schedule might interfere with afterschool activities or jobs.
I also learned that critical thinkers ask
a lot of questions and reflect on how and
why things happen. When Josie mentioned a famous battle her class studied,
I asked, “Which side did you agree with?”
and “Why do you think the
other side felt they
were right?”
The end result
of all this? Better
discussions for us,
and better thinking
for her!