To My Middle Schooler…You Always Have Options
There’s something about Middle School that I want to be clear about with you. Middle School is a time of great change for you and your friends. In fact, it is a time of immense change. It is important that you have this on your radar. That you expect the changes and the ups and downs so you aren’t surprised when they come along. I want you to be prepared when you notice the changes in yourself and others.
Obviously, you know by now that your body will change, but along with that will come emotional changes. All of the chemical changes in your brain that cause physical growth will also cause you to feel things in a way you haven’t before…in a much more intense way. Sometimes feelings that you don’t like to have, like anger, sadness, worry, embarrassment, and irritability will show up when you least expect it, in almost a random way, and to a much greater degree than you’ve ever known.
Sometimes, people that you’ve trusted will let you down. Your friends might turn on you or treat you in a way that suddenly feels bad to you. They may even start to make decisions that you don’t agree with or make fun of you in front of others. You may find yourself confused, lonely, left out, shunned, or just flat out sad. Please don’t be afraid of these intense feelings. They might feel frightening or overwhelming, but just remember: 1) your body is new to this type of intensity and 2) your feelings are temporary. So, be patient with yourself and others.
There will NEVER be a problem or situation that you have to face or resolve alone. I have definitely not been a perfect parent, but there is NOTHING more important to me in this world than supporting you. I don’t expect you to always feel like you can tell me everything, but I am one hundred percent committed to helping you when you need it. Please ask me for help, but if that feels awkward, write me a note and put it under my pillow. I will return the answered note under your pillow. Send me an email or text. I’ll take it however you want to get it to me. There are also kind professionals who help kids sort through difficult situations and emotions. I will take you to one! And, by the way, every individual on this planet will need help with personal issues at some time in life. That does not make you crazy, it makes you human.
Middle School can be brutal on the emotions and view of yourself. So, if you wake up one day and wonder if it matters if you exist, you should know that it absolutely does! Your family would NEVER recover if you chose not to be on this earth anymore! NEVER! Remember, you are loved beyond what words can describe. You do not need to accept negative things people say about you. You decide what to believe about yourself and who you will become. And, when it is hard to remember WHO you are or supposed to be, let God remind you through scripture how he sees you and how very valuable you are to him. You DO NOT need to let others determine your worth because you know to whom you belong.
Feel free to remind me as your parent to be patient with you too. I have been where you are. I know what it is like to feel helpless or like situations will never get better. I also know that Middle School is a brief blip on your radar of life and one day the things that seem major will be hardly memorable. Bottom line… when you feel overwhelmed, YOU HAVE OPTIONS!!! Real help, real solutions, real choices. So, be bold and confident in who you are and stand up for others when they are too weak to do so. Be slow to anger and quick to ask for help when needed. There will never be a situation too embarrassing, too grim, too complicated, or too dire. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE REAL OPTIONS TO MAKE LIFE BETTER!