It seems like lately I’m trying to hold back time.
Maybe it’s the realization that my baby is no longer a baby. Yes, I know she will always be my baby, but she’s a senior this year, and I’m starting to realize sooner than I blink, she’ll need to be headed off to college and living life on her on terms. For this, it means, I need to make sure she has everything she needs to successfully spread her wings. There are a few life skills she needs to learn. Maybe you’re in the same boat as I am. Reality has hit that sooner than you care to admit, your child will be leaving home. Here are a few things she needs to learn during her middle school years.
- How to 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 years ago, it hit me my daughter is perfectly capable of washing and ironing, even if it’s just her own clothes for now. Lord knows allowing her to do this has been a blessing to me.
- How to wake themselves up. Call it a summer of enlightenment for me, but I also realized years ago 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 a few years ago. Since I insisted she get herself up, she has been consistently doing it.
- 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. If you’re having trouble, there are plenty of YouTube videos.
- 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 or letting them know if another student is bothering them, 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?