The world is moving faster than ever. Soon your little one will be going to a larger school with bigger children. They will be playing competitive sports, doing complex science projects, dating (ugh!), and transitioning to adulthood. At this stage of the game you have waded through the difficult daily school separation anxiety; you have watched your child build social and emotional bonds with children and teachers; and you have taught them about responsibility. They have learned about setting and achieving goals and being a good member of society…. and you made it out alive. Take a moment to stop and congratulate yourself because now they are almost teenagers and now you will have to begin again!
These are the years that put the gray in your hair but they can be the best years of your child’s life so keep everything in perspective. You are probably established in your school district at this point and hopefully you know some of the staff and school board members. The major growing pains for you and your child at this point will be that now things become more competitive, more difficult, and more distracting. Stay in contact with the parents of your child’s friends. Communicate with your child, their teachers and coaches about what new expectations there are.
As your child enters the ‘tween’s and becomes exposed to more colorful characters and more thought provoking material it is vital that you are there to provide a filter to help them digest and process the new stimulus. Give them more chores and responsibilities. As your child becomes more independent stay involved and active but allow them to find their own path. There will be a lot of emotional and physical changes at this time and simultaneously your child will be expected to produce on a higher level as they become responsible for their own actions. Do not sweat the small stuff or let small issues turn into big problems.