I have a very special bond with my son. I was a teenage mom – and a single mom – and for many years it was just the two of us. We relied on one another. We did a lot of growing up together. And our relationship is closer as a result.
I can’t believe it is time to send him to middle school. As he embarks on this journey, I would definitely say that I feel … nervous. He’s ready. Me? Not so much. Okay to be honest just the thought of it makes me tear up.
It almost feels like I am throwing him to the wolves. And in all honesty, homeschooling has crossed my mind more than once. But I know I have to let him go and help foster a relationship that allows him to grow and flourish in his new surroundings.
As he crosses the bridge into middle school, I know times will be tough. I know he will question himself and situations that present themselves. I know he will be hurt, experience extreme happiness, want to throw in the towel and will have days he can’t wait for school to start.
As I think about this new time in his life (and mine), I have some advice for him as the first day of school approaches.
You are caring, smart, and good looking just the way that you are. Don’t let other students persuade you on what you wear, how you behave, or who you chose as friends. You will have interactions with a lot of different people – just be yourself. Other people your age will pressure you do wrong because they want you to be like them. I want you to stand up for your beliefs. We all have a deep desire to be one of the “popular kids” but sometimes the price isn’t worth it. If someone doesn’t want to be friends with you that is their loss.
Birds of a feather flock together
You know this is one of my favorite sayings. I want you to be yourself, but we are like the people we associate with. If you hang out with people who make good grades – you will be inspired to have good grades. If you hang out with students who swear – unfortunately you will pick up that bad habit as well. Just because someone says they are your friend doesn’t always mean they have your best interests at heart. If someone encourages you to smoke or do drugs, they are not your friend. 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good manners.” My hope is you chose friends who love God, love their family, love themselves and have big dreams.
Focus on school
Your school work comes first. It comes before Boy Scouts and any other extra curricular activity. Don’t goof off in class because your education will be an important asset throughout your entire life. You are privileged to go to a good public school and I want you to take advantage of every educational opportunity available during these years. I don’t expect you to have strait A’s, but I do expect you to do your best.
Be responsible on social media
Just because someone sends you a friend request or requests to follow you doesn’t mean have to accept it. I know we already have rules about this within our home but I want to add this because you will meet a lot of new people in middle school.
Also don’t ever post a picture of a friend without their permission. I want you to respect your online friends and I hope they respect you too. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is better than great riches.” What you post online is attached to your name. I hope you are positive, don’t overshare, and engage in friendly conversation.
Enjoy this stage of your life
Don’t spend middle school wishing you are in high school or somewhere else. I want you to enjoy this stage of life! Make a lot of friends, go to the football games or play in them, and participate in plays and talent shows. You are so outgoing and I want you to shine! School won’t be easy and it will require a lot of work, but it will still be fun!
I’m always here for you.
I will always love you. You will make mistakes during these years and so will I. I want you to know that you can come to me about anything and you can call me anytime. There might be consequences for your actions, but it is because I love you and want the best for you. I have been your age before and I am here for you as you navigate this stage of your education.