364 weeks until graduation . . .
What’s this phase all about?
Who knows? Ok, not really, but 6th grade seems to be trapped in an endless identity crisis. School districts can’t even agree on whether it belongs in elementary or middle school. And, many 6th graders are just as unclear on things. Physically, mentally, and emotionally they are caught between two worlds. There is more diversity among this age group than any other. Some 6th graders are physically maturing, while others are still a couple of years away from any hints of puberty. Some are still playing with toys on a regular basis, and other are putting on makeup and talking about boyfriends. Some have a fairly stable, easy-going personality, but many of them are going back-and-forth between personas with alarming interchangeability! Although it might be exasperating to you, remember it is probably just as frustrating to them (and they don’t have the maturity to deal with it.)
What blessings can you find in this phase?
In spite of the unpredictability, this phase can be fun. 6th graders typically have a crazy sense of humor. They are almost always ready for the next fun thing. They are usually excited about being on the verge of all the adolescent world has to hold (though you may still be struggling with that!) And, most 6th grader don’t mind hanging out with their parents even if they have to act like it if they hate it if they happen to run into some friends.
How can you leverage this phase?
6th grade can be confusing. Your child may need to relearn that you will never stop loving them, they can never push you away, you mean what you say, and you can always be trusted. “But they know this already!” Yes, they probably do. But, their world is changing daily and what they really want to know is that some things in their life are consistent. Along with your steadiness, this is a time to remind your child of the constancy and trustworthiness of God and the Bible. They are headed quickly into the moral and ethical battleground of the teen years. They need to have a solid foundation to stand on as they face a world that tells them to take care of themselves because no one else will do it. They also need to know that you’re not afraid of the next decade of their life. Let them see that you believe they can face the challenges of an increasingly immoral world with truth and strength.