Coed, independent, PK-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Understanding Adolescent Brains
Middle School Head Jonathan Davis discusses adolescent brain development at a 2015 Shorecrest Community Association meeting. This is tip-of-the-iceberg info from the brain research our Middle School teaching team uses to help our students Be More.
Middle School Parenting Tips
Join us in a warm, loving environment that invites middle school students to do their best, make friends, and learn through collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving. Our most important goal is twofold: to keep your child safe and to help your child build trust and friendships through our Developmental Designs advisory program. We do recognize that your family is the primary source for family values, and we invite you to read the following seven ways to parent safely and wisely.
Set clear boundaries. Call ahead when your child is invited to a friend’s house or a party. Ask if there is adult supervision. Say no if you are unclear about expectations and supervision. You can say no because often at this age, your child can’t say no. Your middle schooler loves drama and he or she will argue with you. Stand firm. Middle schoolers feel secure when you stand firm.
Be clear what your family values are and talk with your child about what you value. Your children may not act like they are listening, but they are. Share experiences from your own middle school years. Unplug from tech in the rides to or from school. You have a captive audience in the car. They are not driving yet... Use this to your advantage!
Be a parent, not a friend. Your children will make their own friends. They need you to be the parent: the hard decision making, potentially unpopular, creating a sense of security and safety--parent. Middle schoolers love to exaggerate: “Everyone is going!” “Everyone failed the test!” Actively listen. They don’t need you to solve their problems, but they do need you to hear their problems. A great active listening comeback: “Hmmm…how are you going to handle that?” Then listen some more.
Use tech wisely. Create a family-wide "No tech after 10 pm" rule. Move computers to common family space, and charge ALL your cell phones, iphones, iPads, etc., in the common space every night so your child is not using tech after 10. Middle schoolers need 8-10 hours of sleep at night. They should be sleeping, not texting. Friend your children so you know what is happening with their social media. Review the games they are engaged in playing. Remember, bullying can come into your child’s room at night through social media. Collect all tech, turn off, and sleep well! Monitoring media also lowers anxiety—a rising concern among pre adolescents.
Provide a healthy breakfast. Studies show students who avoid sugar and caffeine at breakfast focus better in class, perform better on tests, are more evenly behaved, and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight by making better snack and lunch choices. Have a mix of protein and carbs at breakfast time for slow absorption and a healthy morning.
Be an advocate for your child. Encourage participation in a sport, joining the band, auditioning for the play, joining an after school club. These are important social activities that will help your child make new friends and be part of a group.
Model healthy living. Being active is essential for you and your child. Your healthy lifestyle is theirs. Your values are their values. During Middle School, you are still the most important role model in your child’s life—use your wisdom and knowledge to help guide their decision- making.