Most importantly, remember and acknowledge that your kids are experiencing their middle school years in the midst of a pandemic. They have not had a normal school year since 2018-2019. For our 7th and 8th graders, that was in 4th and 5th grade, respectively. For some, the anxiety of just being around other people has become a normal way of life. There may still be some trepidation in getting together with friends and socializing like we did in 2019, and that is okay. We are extremely lucky to have been in person last school year, and we have had a successful opening to our current school year. Some students may still be adjusting to a more normal school year. It is helpful to create opportunities for conversations about day-to-day experiences to help them through this time in their lives. It is also important to know when to push the pause button and give ourselves and our kids the time they need when life becomes too overwhelming. We often hear that kids are resilient. As adults during this pandemic, our resiliency may seem to have waned from time to time. If this is true for adults, how can we expect our kids to be resilient? Resiliency is something that is taught. It is more than opening a math book and memorizing the times tables. It is being aware of the needs of your child. It is talking with your child about his/her needs and how to overcome them. With time, they begin to recognize and use those strategies on their own. There is no set curriculum to teach kids how to be resilient but continue to be patient and do what is best for your child. With time, our kids will not only learn to be resilient, they will thrive.
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