Counseling In the Middle

Transitioning to anything in life can be frightening and exciting. Transitions are different for everyone. Some people run screaming from change, while others run toward the change.   How we handle those same transitions will make all the difference in the world to the outcome.  We as parents and educators will like for our students to become more independent and responsible for themselves and their actions. But guess what, it just doesn't happen over night.  As school begins, so does a collaboration of teachers and parents in helping every student succeed.  Parents can play a vital role in helping their students transition back to school and a new grade.  Firchow (2012) suggest that parents usually have three main concerns for their students returning back to middle school.  The concerns are social/peer connections, logistics, and cognitive changes in their students.  To support this transitional time and these emotional and academic changes, parents can do a number of things.


1.  Encourage students to meet new people.
2.  Assure students that they should always be themselves and be okay with being different.
3.  Become involved in after school activities.
4.  Teach problem solving skills, essentially help your child manage stress.
5.  Use every adult as a voice for them in the building.


1.  Use planners, cell phones, calendars or other forms of organizational items to stay      
2.  Read and review work and notes every night.
3.  Parents should monitor homework assignments, email teachers with concerns, and help
     students become independent at keeping up with work themselves.
4.  Make sure you continue to talk with your child about school.
5.  Know when things are due!


1.  Show up to school on time and ready to learn.
2.  Tour the school before school starts to find classrooms and locations of bathrooms.
3.  Find locker and practice opening and closing it within the 4 minutes for passing.
4.  Learn the team name and names of teachers.
5.  Know where mom, dad, or carpool will pick up and drop off.

This transition is a big deal! Don't over react and storm the castle. If concerns arise, contact your child's teacher, counselor, or administrator. We are all here to help.  These next two years will go by pretty fast. Emotions will run high, arguments will occur, and bedrooms may move to the basement.  Parents don't worry; after they leave middle school you can move back upstairs. You may even stop crying. Just kidding! But seriously, it may not be smooth sailing, but we will not sink!

Have a great year!

Linda Peterson and Sarah Bodi

Firchow, Nancy (2012).  Smoothing your child's transition to middle school.  Great  Retrieved from www,