So in our town- it’s actually called JR. High as it’s only 7th/8th graders. My advice to your middle schooler or your Jr. High Schooler or even your High Schooler (I have one of them too) is what I told my kids “Kill them with Kindness!”
Today, August 15, 2018, is our first day of Jr. High. Monday was the first day of High School for my 10th grader as well. This year I have 2 kids at the Jr. High- one in 7th, one in 8th. They were both really nervous last night. Both had a few run-ins with aggressive kids last year. I gave my daughter a suggestion. What does Stacey Smith (not her real name) mean to you? Meghan explained “MEAN” and “HURTFUL!” So what can you do? How does she make you feel ? “Crappy like POOP!” she said (she may have said it with more swearing involved). So I suggested that she make a character of her in her head- like a fake funny comic like being- of said “poop.” And Meghan died laughing. I said now imagine this bag of poop (as we decided it would become) with arms and legs and when you see Stacey Smith see that image in your head. She giggled. I said now with that giggly smile go up to Stacey if you have reason to and see her- and say “Good to see you!” and keep on going.
Why? I have always found that if you “kill them with kindness” bullies and enemies or folks that are not your real friends don’t know what to do with that? They often just leave you alone. It’s not the end all and by all means if you are truly being bullied tell a trusted adult, but if it’s just normal teenage angst- smile sweetly, go out of your way to say HELLO with a big smile and keep on, keepin’ on!
I have actually given this advice to friends my own age (mid-forties) because I swear the circles of mom friends act the same as if they were in Middle School. Some people are caddy but you can avoid it all if you just grin and say “Mary- so great to see you today!” and keep on moving.
My youngest wasn’t as convinced…”SERIOUSLY MOM?! Do you think that’s really gonna work? That just gives them one more reason to tease me!” I’m not sure how he’ll handle his first day but I do know that he’s a good kid with some great friends in the school with him. He knows at least one person in each of his classes (this Jr. High brings in about 4 elementary schools and has about 700 kids total). It’ll be ok. But no matter what I hope he realizes it’s best to smile and keep on truckin’.
So here is to a great first day of school for my two kids and for all the kids out there starting school in the next few weeks. It’s a new beginning and if you smile- it can only be better.