Julie Metzger spoke to a crowd of 150 eager middle school parents in the Woodward Middle School Commons last week. The event included information on the four main aspects of being: physical, emotional, cognitive, and social. Looking at each of these areas, Julie discussed how we can support our children as they grow through those tricky middle school years without being overbearing or dismissive.
One main takeaway was Julie's discussion of healthy conflict management with our children taken from Simmons's book The Curse of the Good Girl. Below are the steps shared during the presentation:
1) Affirm the relationship (avoid the word "but"
2) Use an "I" statement - be specific in how you feel and the source of the conflict (who, what, where, when, why). "I feel _______when _______."
3) Define how you contribute to the overall conflict. "I realize I _________."
4) Offer an idea of how you can solve together. "I can _____, can you ________?"
The more we as parents understand the stages of development and what our children are going through, the better able to are to support them. Life can be challenging enough for a middle schooler, as parents we need to show them love and support daily.