Surviving Middle School

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I've been a mom for 20+ years.  My little brother was born when I was 16 and I mom'd him (just ask him).  I took him to and from daycare, I held him at night when he cried... I witness his first 2 years of life before I moved out and began my own life.  We have a very complicated relationship as a result - I love him as a son more than as a brother in most ways. 

When my daughter came home I learned more about being a parent.  When she hurt, I hurt.  When Ashley M made her cry in kindergarten by saying she was stupid, I hurt.  When the girls in second grade pushed her, I hurt.  When Marco (or was it Paulo) pushed her into a wall trying to kiss her, I was infuriated. 
Then came middle school, I was not prepared for middle school.  I was not prepared for the hurt, pain and simple nastiness that comes in this age.  Yes I remember being in middle school but without the joys of social media, I don't remember it being that bad.  She has been called every name, she has been bullied, humiliated and had her spirit crushed.   I'd like to sit back and say that she is stronger for all of it and that I've successfully taught her that sticks and stones is the right mentality... the truth though, it all hurts and nope, I haven't taught her all the best coping skills.

I grew up in the world of "sticks & stones", walk away and ignore... ect.  I was not prepared for middle school as it is now.  I was not preparing my daughter for what middle school would and could do to her.  It will eat you up and spit you out if your not careful.  So my dear daughter, here are 5 things to remember in middle school.

1.  Social media & cell phones makes it easier than ever to ruin relationships and reputations.  Remember that everything you say is subject to interpretation and repeat, sometimes without your best interest in mind.

2.  Your friend group ... those who are around you, defines how others see you and how you will get through the hard times.  Keep good people around you... by good, I mean good at heart.

3.  OWN YOU!  Be you, your own unique and amazing self.  If your life is planned out, amazing... and if it's not AMAZING.  Just own your truth, don't be defined by your circumstances and be authentic.

4.  Ask for help.  Whether it's homework, friends or just a life question ask someone.  It doesn't have to be your parents, but find someone you trust and know will have your best interest at heart.

5.  When in doubt, don't!  If something you are doing, thinking of doing or may do just doesn't feel right... it probably is not.  If you are wondering if posting something on social media is ok, it probably is not.  If you think something MAY hurt someone else's feelings, think about whether or not it would hurt yours... most likely it's not a good idea.

I'm sure there are many more but these top 5 things will help your child get through middle school... as for you.  A glass of wine, or a bottle will help you.