It seems like lately I’m trying to hold back time. Every day brings me one moment closer to my sweet girl starting middle school, and I’m not liking it at all. Maybe it’s the realization that she is no longer a baby. Yes, I know she will always be my baby, but baby is getting bigger, and I’m starting to realize I need to stop babying her so much. There are a few life skills she needs to learn before she starts middle school. Did I mention the first day of school is right around the corner?
- Wash and iron clothes. Maybe it was looking at the huge mound of clothes that needed to be washed that brought sudden clarity to me, but a few weeks ago, it hit me that my 11-year-old is perfectly capable of washing and ironing, even if it’s just her own clothes for now. Lord knows allowing her to do this will be a blessing to me.
- How to wake themselves up. Call this the summer of enlightenment for me, but I realized a few months ago that my daughter is very capable of setting an alarm and getting herself up. Maybe it was the way she jumped up without prompting the day Fuller House premiered on Netflix. Although I still wake her most days out of habit, I also have no problem telling her she needs to set her alarm.
- How to tell time. Along those same lines, by middle school kids need to also know how to tell time, and not just with the clock on their phone. Call me old school, but I think they need to learn to tell time with an analog clock.
- How to feed themselves. Whether it’s packing a lunch or getting their own breakfast, by middle school, kids should have some autonomy on how to feed themselves without having to rely on you to figure it out. One of my Facebook friends once said she taught her kid how to cook one meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That works for me.
- How to talk to their teachers. Talking to adults can be intimidating for many kids, but they have to learn to communicate with their teachers. Whether it’s asking about a missed assignment or seeking help when they don’t understand homework, it’s beneficial to them to start learning how to have the conversations.
Bonus: The proper uses of the internet. Many of us take for granted that since our kids live in a tech world that they know the proper way to use that internet, but unfortunately many don’t. Take the time to go over internet dos and don’ts, including what sites offer accurate information and what to do if she is cyberbullied or contacted by a stranger.
What are some things you feel kids should know before middle school?
Editor’s Note: This is third part of a series. Part 1, 5 Things Your Child Show Know Before Starting Kindergarten can be found here, and Part 2, 5 Things Your Child Should Know Before Starting Elementary School can be found here.