Cover image for Middle school matters : the 10 key skills kids need to thrive in middle school and beyond--and how parents can help
Title:
Middle school matters : the 10 key skills kids need to thrive in middle school and beyond--and how parents can help
ISBN:
9780738235080
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
xix, 298 pages ; 23 cm.
Summary:
Middle school is its own important, distinct territory, and yet it's either written off as an uncomfortable rite of passage or lumped in with other developmental phases. Based on her many years working in schools, professional counselor Phyllis Fagell sees these years instead as a critical stage that parents can't afford to ignore (and though "middle school" includes different grades in various regions, Fagell maintains that the ages make more of a difference than the setting). Though the transition from childhood to adolescence can be tough for kids, this time of rapid physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional change is a unique opportunity to proactively build character and confidence. Fagell helps parents use the middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they'll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, be their own advocates, and more. To answer parents' most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, Fagell combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, school professionals, and middle schoolers themselves. --
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Summary

Summary

A counselor and popular Washington Post contributor offers a new take on grades 6-8 as a distinct developmental phase--and the perfect time to set up kids to thrive.

Middle school is its own important, distinct territory, and yet it's either written off as an uncomfortable rite of passage or lumped in with other developmental phases. Based on her many years working in schools, professional counselor Phyllis Fagell sees these years instead as a critical stage that parents can't afford to ignore (and though "middle school" includes different grades in various regions, Fagell maintains that the ages make more of a difference than the setting). Though the transition from childhood to adolescence can be tough for kids, this time of rapid physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional change is a unique opportunity to proactively build character and confidence.
Fagell helps parents use the middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they'll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, be their own advocates, and more. To answer parents' most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, Fagell combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, school professionals, and middle schoolers themselves.


Author Notes

Phyllis L. Fagell, LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor, a certified professional school counselor, and journalist. She is a frequent contributor to On Parenting from the Washington Post, and she travels the country speaking to other professionals and parents about middle school issues. Fagell has worked in both public and private schools with students in grades K-12 and is currently the school counselor at Sheridan School in Washington, D.C. She also provides therapy to children, teens, and families in private practice.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

When the words middle school are mentioned, most adults recall a time when they felt awkward both physically and socially. No matter the school setting, the transition between childhood and adolescence can be challenging for kids. Counselor, mother of three, and Washington Post contributor Fagell encourages parents and educators to consider the middle-school years in a different way. Instead of a rite of passage for kids to survive, the years between elementary and high school are a crucial time to teach kids how to thrive. She highlights four essential areas: social skills, values and integrity, empowerment, and resilience and learning. Each chapter begins with a list of key skills to focus on, ranging from how to make good friend choices and negotiate conflict to how to self-advocate and make responsible, healthy, and ethical choices. Fagell includes relatable examples from her years of guiding middle schoolers and concludes each chapter with top tips for parents and helpful conversation starters. Readers will appreciate Fagell's straightforward advice on the wide array of challenges that can appear during the influential years between elementary and high school. This is a must-read for all parents and educators of kids in this unique and often misunderstood age group.--Melissa Norstedt Copyright 2019 Booklist


Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Introductionp. xv
Chapter 1 What's the Big Deal About Middle School?p. 1
Values and Integrity "It's easier to lie than deal with all the drama."p. 8
Chapter 2 Making Responsible, Healthy, and Ethical Decisionsp. 11
Chapter 3 Fostering Honestyp. 24
Chapter 4 Encouraging Kindness and Empathyp. 35
Chapter 5 Embracing Difference in Self and Othersp. 49
Social Skills "I feel judged and ignored."p. 65
Chapter 6 Managing Shifting Friendshipsp. 67
Chapter 7 Dealing with Bullyingp. 79
Chapter 8 Coping with Gossip and Social Turmoilp. 91
Chapter 9 Growing Up Sexually Healthyp. 103
Chapter 10 Preparing for Lovep. 120
Learning "Everyone is getting A's except for me."p. 129
Chapter 11 Encouraging Balance and Setting Reasonable Expectationsp. 131
Chapter 12 Tackling Homeworkp. 141
Chapter 13 Intervening When School is a Strugglep. 151
Empowerment and Resilience "There are all sorts of people in the world, and we'll all find our place."p. 163
Chapter 14 Connecting with Boys and Helping them Connect with Othersp. 165
Chapter 15 Raising Strong, Empowered Girlsp. 179
Chapter 16 Taking Risks in a World of No'sp. 193
Chapter 17 Managing Setbacks and Shoring Up Resiliencep. 205
Chapter 18 Preparing Kids for a Changing Worldp. 219
Conclusion Moving Forward: "Make mistakes, model self-compassion, and grow alongside your child."p. 231
Parent Discussion Guidep. 237
Educator Discussion Guidep. 249
Resourcesp. 257
Acknowledgmentsp. 281
Indexp. 283
About the Authorp. 298