Middle School Anxiety!!

Updated on May 05, 2010
C.K. asks from Orlando, FL
11 answers

I am having major anxiety at the thought of my oldest child going to middle school in the fall. She is very naive and I'm fearful for the things she will be exposed to by the other kids. Any advice on how to deal with this & best prepare her?

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answers from Provo on

I have had two children go through middle school and it is terrible for everyone! She will be exposed to all kinds of things. Now would be the time to start talking to her and teaching her the importance of values. I would suggest that you arm her with knowledge. She will hear plenty of things but if she can feel comfortable enough to talk to you then it will help. Parents are very influential people for teens even they don't want to admit it.

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answers from Orlando on

I was scared this time last year, too.... but something magical happened the summer before 6th grade and my son seemed different. By the time school started, he seemed SO ready!

I think it depends on what you are afraid she will hear. Yep, she's gonna hear curse words. Make it clear to her what your family's values are and the rules and consequences for her using that kind of language. If you are afraid of her hearing about stuff having to do with sex, I have a strong recommendation for you. Have the birds and bees talk with her NOW. If you did so already, do it again to make sure she remembers the basics. Once you have opened those lines of communication, make sure she understands that MANY other children have NOT had that talk with their parents so they may be misinformed. Let her know that she can come and talk with you about ANYTHING, and that you would rather have an embarassing conversation with her than have her going around thinking things that aren't true. I have heard so many stories from people who are now adults who said they thought so many things when they were kids because they heard it from other kids and their parents never had the real talk with them--probably because they were too embarassed or thought their kids weren't ready (or were really naive and thought if their kids knew about sex then they'd start doing it!!)

You should also have talks with her about bullying and girl drama-- all things that happen in middle school but do not necessarily have to happen to HER. Remember to talk with her about BOTH sides of bullying-- both the idea of being bullied (she needs to come talk with you no matter what they threatened) and doing the bullying (some girls don't realize that excluding other girls is really hurtful to the excluded girl's self esteem)

Any other worries that you have that she will be exposed to-- smoking, drugs, etc---- your greatest defense is sending her off informed and ready to speak with you about anything that comes up. As long as you keep the lines of communication open and make clear your values and expectations, she'll be fine!!!

My biggest issue with my son this year has been organization. He forgets to do homework, or does it and forgets to turn it in----so many different classes to keep up with. As long as she finds a way to be organized, hopefully you will have a low stress year!

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answers from Tallahassee on

Hi C. - I was right there with ya last year. I have 3 and my oldest daughter started middle school last year. She had a very tough time with it. I raise my children with Christian values, right from wrong etc. OTHERS DON'T I have always tried to protect my children from the evils of the world. But after going through 6th Grade - honey you HAVE to educate the innocent against all that is to come. Trust me when my (13yr old) daughter came to be regarding cuss words, my 11 year old said the other kids cuss on the school bus!! I was sad and mortified.

I have to work but if I didn't I would be volunteering at that school as much as possible. My 13 yr old grew her hair for 2 years to cut it and donate it to Locks of Love, then when she went back to school - they teasted her saying "Who's the new boy?" etc. I was so mad. It is hard to teach kids to ignore the hurtful things that kids say.

Good Luck
M. F

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answers from Tampa on

Home school.
best, k

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

It is scary (I have worked in 2 middle schools) but good kids-from good families-with good values do wonderfully. If you are just starting to teach that now-it is too late. My son is only 3 but he knows other children yell, hit, bite, won't share etc... but that we don't do that.

Middle school is tough- keep the lines of communication open. Stay involved, have them do their homework, get involved with sports ot clubs, KNOW THEIR FRIENDS & when the time is right... be ready to dicuss sex. You cannot be afraid of this topic (peers have NO difficulty sharing misinformation) you need to be sure she is aware of the facts!

Best of luck... middle school will not change a good child. Puberty will cause some changes if you homeschool or not- but part of the lessons of life are learning to make good decisions, getting along with people different than you (even teachers they dislike) Most of us have had coworkers or bosses we dislike... Middle school is the beginning of 'rel-life" with the added benefit of parents & hugs to get you thru it safely!!

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answers from Jacksonville on

You aren't very specific about how your child is naive and what you are afraid she will be exposed to. If you have been sheltering her from other children all this time it will be a rude awakening. If you haven't been, she will be off to school with the same type of kids she has been going to school with already. This is the learning and growing process. You can't shelter her from life, but rather focus on how to deal with things as they come up.



answers from Lincoln on

In addition to the other answers you've received, which I certainly agree with, try talking to the middle school or getting more information from parents with kids already there, etc. Some middle schools do a better job than others of keeping new kids separated from the older ones, watching over the kids and their "free time" like lunch and between classes, etc. Find out what your daughter's school is like, is known for, etc. and then you can plan and deal with it accordingly.


answers from Lakeland on


My daughter is in 6th grade and I was in the same predicament last year. It was a tornado of emotions when your baby goes to middle school.

We talked about going to middle school during the summer and I guess after school starts you take it one day at the time.

She has a better understanding of how other kids can be mean to each other, that some (not all of them) teachers sometimes are not as nice and understanding than her elementary school was. She has seen how kids are so unfair, and can make fun and ridicule kids that are overweight. She has been compasionate an try to talk to kids that are overweight and she has told me: "Mom she is so nice and the kids don't see it".

Of course, you see that after being in middle school, all of a sudden your child becomes more moody than usual. There are days that she is happy as can be, and then there are other days that you have to just ask questions and try to be a detective so you can see and understand what's going on.

Don't get me wrong, probably your daughter goes to school and everthing works great for her, but you have to be alert for any change in mood.

Even thought my daughter has not been bullied (though I ask her almost everytime) and has friends she has aquired an anxiety towards school. My daughter asked me if she can attend virtual school (next year) because she is overwhelmed in the mortar and brick school. I am supporting her decision, since a lot of kids are homeschooled nowadays. I want her to be happy and she can feel that she is home.

Please don't take this the wrong way, is just that lately there are so many reports of kids being bullied or they are overwhelmed with school and they take their own lives that when my daughter told me about staying at home and study, I didn't hesitate and said yes. It should not be this way, that you feel that you are sending your child to a battlefield but is just better to be prepared mentally.

Another detail, long time ago (while in 5th grade) I told my daughter she doesn't need to date in middle school (maybe when she is 16), because she is discovering who she is, what she likes, what she doesn't like. Basically your personality still blossoming and you need time to know yourself better. The reason I am telling you this is because my daughter tells me that her friends are dating (huh!! eleven year olds dating?!?!), I keep telling her that's too soon for dating and we had to talk about reputation and all that fun stuff. Sadly our kids are needing to grow up quicker than we did at their age.

Just take one day at a time, listen and ask questions after school. You will be glad you did. Our kids need us more than anything when they go to such a different enviroment.

God bless, C.



answers from Pittsburgh on

In our district, middle school begins at Grade 5! So I'm right with you on this. Definitely take her to the school orientation when & if they have O.. Also, you might discuss profanity, etc. before she goes onto the bus...we're dealing with that on the elementary school bus now....sad.....



answers from Chicago on

My oldest daughter is in middle school (6th) this year and I was nervous too. But something seemed to change in her between 5th & 6th grade. She became more independent and confident, more grown up. I truly feel that she was ready for middle school. She was ready to be exposed to a new environment and ready to take on new challenges. My daughter has only had a positive year so far.
Try not to worry. Try to focus on all the good things that happen middle school. It might just end up being a good experience for your daughter too!


answers from Saginaw on

I think I am going to have the same fears when the time comes. It seems like best thing now a days to do is be upfront about the things she may or may not be exposed to. Maybe not in full detail, but I heard its good to talk about the bad things that could come across her path and that its ok to say no. Maybe also talk about peer pressure. I also think its important for you to express how you are open to any questions on things she may come across and not to be afraid to talk to you about them.

Good luck!

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