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EmilyGF

frustrated middle schooler

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I have a lovely, compliant, self-motivated middle schooler.

 

Removed for kiddo's privacy.

 

Argh.

Emily

Edited by EmilyGF

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What happened just before he was on the verge of tears? Was it something he was struggling with? Talking about friends? Sitting too long? Maybe if you can pinpoint what he was doing, or thinking about, etc., it will give you a clue.

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Is he generally sensitive? 

 

I have a sensitive middle schooler. If I asked her would she want to cut subjects, she'd feel badly if she answered with an honest YES because she doesn't want to "hurt my feelings" ... which, is ridiculous, but that's what she thinks will happen.

 

Her hormones kicked in HARD last year. She was frequently very weepy and unable to explain why. She did feel overwhelmed by her school, but not that the stuff was too difficult ... just that it was maybe too much that one day. I got pregnant that year, and it was like a light bulb for me. My emotions were all over the map and I couldn't rationalize half of them. I think middle schoolers' hormones and emotions tend to be in the same situation. 

 

So from a school perspective, what I did was cut out some of the extras. I re-did our calendar, too, extending our year by six weeks. That gave us some breathing room in the day-to-day. And even though our school year officially extended into June, we were down to 1-2 subjects by that point and school only took an hour or so. There was still plenty of time to play with friends and to relax. In August we did a poetry camp - an entire year's curricula worth of work in 3 weeks. In January we're doing a science camp - same thing. In May, art camp for three weeks. This cut down our daily schooling and allowed more time for what helped her process her emotions - reading, exercise, and time with me (cooking, mostly, and the dreaded laundry.)

 

There are days we just had to cut all school and veg in front of edutainment on netflix, or hit up a park or library. Some days are just a struggle!  :grouphug:

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Do you think this was related to school or something outside schoolwork? Does he usually stress about schoolwork (perfectionist, etc..?) Did something happen at one of his activities?

 

Could just be hormones but I would want to know more, especially if it is atypical for your child to get emotional.

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That sounds within the norm for most kids that age, honestly. It's a frustrating time what with the brain growth/general growth spurts/raging hormones... the mood swings, even for kids who are usually sweet and even, can be real. I'd start the conversation with a discussion of that. Hey, son, I want to say I noticed that you were extra emotional yesterday and I thought it was a good chance to remind you and me of how much your body is about to start changing. Did you know that your brain is probably growing faster now than at any time since you were a toddler just learning to talk? And so forth.

 

I'd leave openings in the conversation for the idea that it's something more specific, like something to do with friendships or activities or even something traumatic.

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I talked with him and I think we pinpointed the major factor on that day, and it was totally in line with his character. Things make sense.

Emily

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