It now seems like a lifetime ago that my baby was heading off to middle school for the very first time.
Yes, I know she will always be my baby, but she’s starting college in a couple of weeks, and I’m starting to realize that in a matter of days, she’ll start living life on her on terms. Hopefully at this point, she has everything she needs to successfully spread her wings. 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 the summer of enlightenment for me, but right before she started middle school, I also realized 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 told her she has to get herself up, she has consistently done it.
- How to tell time. 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. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help with this.
- 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 kids 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 rather than you having them for them.
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.