Teaching Your Child How to Make New FriendsPosted by Regina Hudson on 9/21/2016
When 5th- graders transition into CrossRoads, they assume they’ll be in classes with their friends. But with 9 Elementary Schools feeding into CrossRoads Intermediate School, the chances of your child knowing his/her new classmates is slim. This can often present a challenge to your 6th – grader: How DO I make new friends?
First and foremost, a parent’s attitude and demeanor can set the tone as to how their child perceives this challenge. While girls this age tend to be anxious and tearful, the wisdom and calm of an understanding parent offers more comfort to a child, than a parent who frets and cries because their child is unhappy. Making our way among new faces is a life skill that we all encounter daily. 11-and-12-yr.-olds can become quickly acquainted with new peers by utilizing some fail-proof methods of making new friends. Here are a few pointers that will help you and your child relax and feel more at ease:
- In any new setting/situation, take some time to sit back and observe the people around you. Who pays attention in class? Who asks the teacher questions? Who acts friendly and nice towards others? Who tries to distract others and disturb the lesson? Who’s friendly on the playground? Who’s nice at lunchtime and makes others feel welcomed? By watching others, we can assess which students would be the kind of friend that we’d want to have, and the kind of friend we’d like to be.
- Smile at others, even if you don’t know them. Say “Hello” and compliment someone on their classwork, attire or something nice that they did. This is a kindness that others respond to favorably. It also lets others know that you are a kind person to notice.
- Offer to assist someone in need. Hold a door open for the person behind you; let someone else go first/ahead of you. Help someone pick up something they’re dropped. Offer to do a task for your teacher. Raise your hand if your teacher asks for volunteers. Being ready and willing to help shows others what a kind person you are.
- Apologize if you hurt someone’s feelings, if you accidentally bump into them, or if you make a mistake. We all make mistakes daily, but how we handle those mistakes says a great deal about our character.
- If someone confides in you, or if you hear/know something about someone/a situation, don’t tell others. Loyalty and trustworthiness are traits of a true, good friend.
- Ask others how they are doing? If someone appears sad, be caring and understanding. If someone is happy, be happy for them. Empathy is a quality that shows we can be supportive of others and not have to be the center of attention.
- Share your sense of humor. Smiling and laughing are universal, no matter where you go in the world. However, guide your child to share their joy, but not at the expense of another’s feelings. Being happy isn’t about making fun of, or laughing at others.
- Understand that friendships are to be shared. Trying to be someone’s best friend, excludes others. Middle-Schoolers need guidance in learning how to be friendly towards everyone, and not to control who can be included or excluded from a friendship/group of friends. Parents would do well to monitor how their children interact among their peers, and monitor the use of their child’s electronic devices.
- Have a positive attitude! People are drawn to those who have a bright outlook and/or who look for the silver lining in a situation. It IS possible to be positive, even when the chips are down. Everyone likes to be around a positive person, but a perpetual complainer, whiner and/or angry person is generally avoided by most people.
- Take pride in who you are! Don’t be afraid to be an individual. We are all different, beautiful people. Help your child realize that they are still growing and learning, but that they are beautiful to you at every age and stage. True beauty is not determined by our looks, what we wear or by our economic status. True beauty comes from within one’s character. Teach your child the wisdom and meaning of the saying: “You see in the world what you carry in your heart.”
Tips For Middle SchoolPosted by Jean Hudson on 6/14/2016
Transitioning from Elementary School to Middle School is often a time of excitement, wonder, anticipation and worry, not only for 6th graders, but for their Parents and Guardians, as well. However, this change becomes far less daunting with the setting-up of some consistent family routines. Here is a list of tips for parents and students that can lead to a rewarding 6th-grade experience:
- Set a routine bedtime; lights out/electronic devices/TV’s shut down/removed. 11 and 12-yr. olds need 8-9 hrs. of sleep each night.
- Homework – Agenda out to show assignments for each subject (students have homework every night); Parents need to check for all completed homework; if done at school, bring it home so parents can see their child’s completed assignment.
- Pack all completed homework, books, signed papers into bookbag and place it on kitchen table/by the door, for easy pick-up in the morning.
- Lay out school clothes the night before.
- Establish a quiet, distraction-free location for homework, each night. No cell phones/TV/music/activities allowed. Provide adequate lighting for reading/doing homework.
- Keep a ready supply of sharpened pencils, paper at home; make sure your child brings sharpened pencils and all books/homework to school each day.
- Display a monthly calendar that has all projects written down with correct due date. This helps you/your child plan for supplies/deadlines, in advance.
- Parents, check Parent Portal every day/week to make sure your child is handing in all completed homework, preparing/studying for quizzes/tests.
- Call Mrs. Laughter, School Counseling Assistant, to schedule a Parent Conference with your child’s Team of Teachers, if grades are slipping.
- E-mail/call your child’s teachers, if you have concerns; share if your child is having academic difficulties.