Social fears another area of worry for students moving to middle school is the social scene. Will I see anyone I know? Will it be hard to make friends? Will I have to eat lunch alone? Are the older kids bullies?
Your child is moving from the top of the elementary school heap to the bottom rung of the middle school social ladder. She/he may have heard that the older students tease or bully the younger ones. She/he knows for sure that she/he and her/his best friends are unlikely to be in every single class together, and, even worse, there may be classes where she/he doesn’t know anyone at all on the first day. And if your child with learning or attention problems struggles to make friends anyway, then this all adds up to a potential social nightmare.
Remember that, in addition to changing schools,your child is entering adolescence, a stage when kids start to rely much more on peers and pull away from parents. This is a time when being part of a group is very important and being perceived as different can be devastating. It’s not surprising that finding friends in the new school is a top priority.
The good news is that the more varied social environment also offers many opportunities to meet people. Being in multiple classes each day means your student is surrounded by more potential friends. The better news is that, once students are settled into middle school, they report that friendships and the social scene are among the best things about school (Akos, 2002: Forgan, 2000).
Some things that you can do to ease the social transition:
Encourage your child to join sports teams, clubs, or other extracurricular activities.
Ease any loneliness in the early weeks of school by helping your child arrange weekend social activities with neighborhood, church, or grade school friends.
Encourage your child to join group conversations. Discuss how to join in without interrupting, to add something relevant to conversation in progress, etc.
Talk about traits that make a good friend (such as being a good listener).
Talk about social skills.
Discuss how words and actions can affect other people.
Practice skills needed for difficult social situations.Remind your child to make eye contact when speaking or listening.
II. Bullying and Cyberbullying
At Lowe's Grove we have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. If bullying is reported then the school will investigate the incident and put appropriate consequences into place.
Important Note: If you know that your child is getting bullied at school please contact your child's grade level administrator or counselor as soon as you are able.