Welcome to the dark side of raising middle schoolers.
If you are a toddler parent, you’re reading the wrong article. If you want to argue that parenting toddlers is the dark side, wait ten years and then we’ll talk. It’s like talking to a non-parent about parenting. You won’t understand until you’ve crossed that line.
This is the dark side.
This is parenting middle schoolers. Sit down. Have a snack. Pour yourself a drink.
I hope you like salt in your drink because the tears will fall. This is a free space to vent. We love our middle schoolers, we do. They are funny. They can make themselves breakfast. Some may even be responsible enough to start babysitting. The baby face sheds away and you can start to see the adult they are becoming.
But sometimes we need to know we’re not alone in raising the ball of hormones that will make your grandkids one day. I told you you would cry.
This is the God Awful truth about parenting middle schoolers.
They’re not cute.
Of course, they’re cute. Your kids are always cute. I’m talking about the outside world not thinking your kids are cute.
No one looks at your middle schooler in the grocery store and says, “Oh, I miss that age! This makes me want another one!” If your toddler is in a meltdown, you’ll hear “It’s just a phase!”
If anyone is going to look at your middle schooler and say something, they’re going to say “I don’t miss being that age.” Adults don’t remember their own toddler years but they sure as hell remember middle school.
You have to remind them to keep their sex parts to themselves.
It’s a lot of bodily liquids. Body parts are growing, voices are changing, oil is dumped on heads, pimples appear overnight, your kid’s drains are clogged from the extra body hair, sweat glands open like mini waterfalls.
Yearbook photos are awkward. I don’t need to remind you what your body went through in middle school because you know.
Now it’s even more awkward because you are in the roll of “parent” and this isn’t potty-training body parts. Oh no. It’s “you better keep your sex parts to yourself.” You suddenly realize it all leads to one thing – becoming grandma and grandpa.
You can’t talk about your kid on the Internet.
I believe there’s a movement titled “why my toddler is crying.” There are pictures of toddlers crying followed by the reason for the meltdown – “He wanted to eat a battery.”
There should be a movement titled, “why my middle schooler is crying at the dinner table, slamming her door, rolling her eyes, spewing hatred for her parents, and swearing everyone hates her.” But, there can’t be a movement because we walk on eggshells now. Toddlers can’t read the Internet. Middle schoolers – or their friends – can.
I’m in so much shit for this article.
Your grocery bill is going up because you have mutant human adult stomachs to feed.
Fact: Middle schoolers grow as fast as toddlers but their stomachs are as large as an adult’s. They eat everything. Did you make lasagna for dinner? That’s really an appetizer because they’re going to make a sandwich an hour later and then they’ll help themselves to a snack before bed.
You don’t watch TV because you have your own farm drama.
When you gather a bunch of, oh I don’t know, farm chickens from different coops (elementary school), and throw them together in a bigger and better coop (middle school), they’re going to get a little frazzled.
They’re going to have a pecking order. They’re going to find out who was the big rooster at the little farm. They’re going to fight and judge and shake their tail feathers and wear 6-inch crop tops, oh my God.
The chickens are adding Instagram and Snapchat to their phones and you need to STOP THE CHICKENS.
You can stop your own chicken flapping its wings in your face while you spit out its feathers, sure, but the other chickens are doing it, too. They’re adding filters and making their life appear glamorous in the coop. This chicken is friends with this chicken and they didn’t invite that chicken over there. And the chicken crying in the corner is your chicken and now you’re wondering where your perfect little egg went.
You’re following middle school fashion because your middle schooler wants to fit in.
To do this, your child needs to wear the right clothes. They don’t have a job, car, credit card, or the Amazon app on their phone. It is up to you to figure out which name-brand is cool. Hip. Lit.
You see, I don’t know the words the kids say these days but I do know what is in style because I pay attention to little miss Avery, walking in the school in her casual athletic-wear. Seriously, LULU LEMON, your mom is inane to spend that kind of money.
The second year of middle school is the height of all things horrible
I assume most schools begin at sixth grade for middle school. You would think the first year of middle school is the hardest. This is false. It’s seventh grade. I don’t know why, it just is. No one has an answer.
It’s one the greatest mysteries of parenting middle schoolers: that second year sucks. We, as parents, are just reaching in the dark, trying to find an arm or a hand to hold. We need someone to help us in the dark.
Parenting middle schoolers is the dark side of parenting.
Love this!!! SO true!!
Just wait… high school is coming for you.
I have raised 2 through this age and it was two different outcomes 1st one just had to fit in and would do anything to get there. Goodness that was the moment I became my mom. Yeah I said it, I couldn’t wait for her to leave and tear that room up then put it all back. LOL. Only way to find out what really was going on. The other could have cared less about humans but that internet, good God we had to get rid of wifi phones (we got a land line) try it they get confused really fast with a real phone. Now I have the last one. I truly appreciate this site because I no longer feel so alone in this faster world for our little ones. Rock on parents we will make it and they will survive.
Oh, great. My steps his just about to start sixth grade. I was already dreading middle school for him, even more so now.
OMG, the only thing wrong with this article is that it ended!! I was laughing out loud in the waiting room at the kid’s dentist. All so true!
I generally agree, parenting a middle schooler sucks. However, 6th grade was our horrific year, with therapists, disrupted sleep from nightmares, bullying, anxiety, suicide screenings, and constant vigilance. I don’t know how we weathered it, and our story isn’t as extreme as others we know. Seriously, 7th grade has been a cakewalk in comparison.
Omg this is so so true !!! Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes I think it’s just my child.
Yes and Yes!!! Happy to know I’m not alone in the…not loving this stage of my teens life. I feel like I am failing everyday and praying I’m raising a nice human?!? Ahhhhh!!!
I am here right now and this article is so true. Hopefully 8th grade is better.
You could not have said it better. Hell. I only hope HighSchool is better for her.
Very cute and true. But, two typos: roll should be role; inane should be insane. (Sorry! Occupational hazard to spot these things!)
You want real fun? Try TEACHING Middle School kids! The smells, sounds, drama, unpredictability – OMG! But they’re learning and they’re figuring out how to be who they want to be – and the road is not easy. I loved teaching middle schoolers…no day was the same…but they have really cool personalities and are amazingly fun! As a parent of TWO Middle Schoolers – I’m EXTRA nice to their teachers. Don’t forget them at the holidays or at the end of the year. If anyone needs a gift card to the local liquor store OR restaurant…it’s THEM 🙂
Omg but you didn’t say why the second year is so hard. You freaked me out and left me hanging. Please write another article I need to read more lol
I’m a mom who raised all 3 of my sons and like you said “The middle school years were hell!”. Now I’m 62 and raising my grandson. Times in Middle school have definitely changed! and may I add NOT FOR THE BETTER! Its even worse now. There is so much new pressure put on them to try and keep up with all the new curriculum and state testing. Emotions run high around here! The “I don’t need a shower, I just took one 2 days ago” and eating habits all remain the same just like you talked about but the extra emotional stress from school is even worse. I’m not sure I will make it through Middle School this time!!!!! Frustrated Grandma!