Surviving the Middle School Years

Surviving the Middle School Years

This year has been one where many days I look myself in the mirror and ask, “am I going crazy?”

You are not going crazy. These years just feel crazy.

new identities
new friends
new interests

If I had to wrap-up our first year of middle school I would call it “Pete & Repeat”.  You remember the joke?  Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence, Pete fell off. Who was left? Repeat … Pete and Repeat were sitting on a fence …

It started with the Houdini disappearing acts.  My once attentive sweet boy started slipping away. Often times between assignments I would look at my youngest and ask, “where is your  brother?”

Then I became the parrot, where is your brother? squawk, where is your brother?  I am surprised no one started throwing crackers at me.

Why did slipping away suddenly become the norm when we had never done that before?

Soon I started my Psychology degree training with the, “what were you thinking?” questions.  It took me the longest time to realize a shrug was a legitimate answer to a 12 yr old.

I still do not understand what he was thinking when he decided to leave the water hose on for 2 hours after a 15 minute water erosion experiment.

Then I turned into my mother. Right there in the kitchen I transformed into Linda, Stephanie Marie’s mother.

I stood by the overflowing trash can and demanded, “how many times do I have to tell you when the trash falls out of the can onto the floor it’s obviously time to take the trash out?!”

GASP!  NO !!!!!

As I became the score keeper, I prayed, “God am I going crazy?”

His answer must have been one of those heavenly smiles as I was suddenly aware of all the times God has to remind me about His faithfulness, His love, His grace.

You might be in the thick of the disappearing acts, or the constant reminders, or the dreaded mother transformation but I can say with certainty you are not going crazy!

As God gives us such grace to walk around and around and around with us again, maybe wondering “how many times do I have to tell you I will provide for you!”.

Offer that same grace to your middle school student this week.  Offer the love of repeating something without keeping score how many times you have already said it.

Offer a smile when it doesn’t make an ounce of sense and they have no idea why.

Then laugh, because they will grow out of this and with any luck … turn into you one day.

Stef shares tactile tips and hands-on learning activities via twitter and instagram @StefMLayton