I recently read a great article in Psychology Today. Here’s my favorite line: “Strange things seem to happen to a tween’s brain the first day they walk into middle school.”
One might sum up a middle schooler’s main goals in life this way:
– To be funny at all costs. (Hence, the silly bathroom jokes, talking at inappropriate times in class, and the “I’ll do anything to be popular” attitude.)
– To focus on SELF — their clothes, their nose, their body, and their hair.
– To try new behaviors, attitudes and clothes. They are playing “dress up” with their identity, trying on things to see what fits. They are impulsive and scattered, they are up and they are down, and it even seems that they have regressed in their development on their quest for independence.
I can relate to this tween crazy brain syndrome! I’ve seen it take over all three of my children, turning my sweet, cuddly babies into snarling, friend-focused tweens.
Middle school kids are developmentally not ready for social media without some serious parental intervention.
What I would add to this article: MY RECOMMENDATIONS
? In tip #5 the author says “Keep a sharp eye on the clock.” Keeping track of time your child’s time without using technology is crazy talk. Parents are too busy and kids are too sneaky for that. Use an app! Free or paid. Screen Time (iPhones) is free. Google’s Family Link (android) is free. My favorite is Circle. It’s a device with a subscription plan and it allows me to magically turn off the internet for just one of my children, based on parameters I set (or any other time… like if chores aren’t done!)
? Use a monitoring service like BARK to “see” what your kids are looking at, posting and getting sent. Here’s a promo code for 20% off the subscription. I like Bark because it only sends me alerts if my child is in danger. If all is well, they keep their privacy. It monitors 25 different platforms like YouTube, text messages, Instagram and SnapChat and sends an alert to parents if their child is involved in activities like cyberbullying, sexual content, sexting, self-harm, hurting others, violence or talking about suicide.
If you need guidance in how to get started, I’m here! Why not email me? I promise I’ll respond.