Entry into middle school and the beginning of adolescence is a time of growth and change that is both exciting and worrisome – for parents and their children. As your children venture beyond the family group and begin spending more time with friends and meeting new people at summer camp and other activities, they are exposed to new ideas, values and behaviors that may be quite different than those practiced in your own home.
Scheduling family time activities provides important opportunities for parents to model the behaviors and values they want their children to learn while helping their children gain a greater understanding of the wider world into which they are beginning to step.
Kids Will Push and Pull You
Some parents make the mistake of thinking family time becomes less important as their children become more independent, but the opposite is actually true. Children need the strength, acceptance and safety of the family more than ever during the often turbulent middle school years.
The struggle for independence can seem like a cold and lonely battle to your child. He needs to know he can return to the loving warmth and safety of his family to recharge and lick his wounds before he is ready to make the next push for independence. It is this push-and-pull toward and away from the family that makes the middle school years so difficult on and both children and parents.
Family time can be a much-needed oasis of calm and love when parents and children can bond and enjoy being together during the often stormy middle school years. Horizon Education middle school program teachers recommend that families make time for family time.