Surviving Sixth Grade

Jalen and me – December 2018 (Trinidad)

We are nearing the end of sixth grade, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned along the way.  This year has been a STRUGGLE.  Jalen has been frustrated, his father, teachers and I have been frustrated – it’s been a mess.  I’ve cried, gotten angry, cried some more and realized now, looking back, that I’ve also spoken things into my child that didn’t do him any good.

I’ve learned so many things about me and things about Jalen this year – and for those of you who may be struggling with a middle schooler, hopefully this may be helpful to you.

1.  I am not alone in the struggle.  What I am going through is not unique to me.  I’ve realized that just about everyone with a child older than sixth-grade age faced some or all of the things I’ve looked at this year – and made it through!  I am not the recipient of some “brand-new-to-the-universe” problem.  There are lots of people who can say, “Been there; done that”.  I need to get over myself.

2.  I will make mistakes.  In my head, I’m the perfect parent.  In reality, there are many days that I suck as a parent.  Learning to accept that, learning to look at things I’ve done and realize that they were wrong and I need to say sorry – I think that is making me a better parent.  Not a perfect or great parent – a better one.  I am striving each day to be better.

3.  My child is amazing.  My child is uniquely and wonderfully made.  He has amazing talents and skills.  He can be disobedient and frustrating to deal with, but he is an awesome child.  I can list all the things that bother me about him, but I have also made myself start focusing on the things that are great about him!  There are so many – I just had to change the way I was looking at him. Your child is amazing too!  

4.  This doesn’t end.  I will not find an answer to the problem.  I will not write the summary to the white paper and submit for evaluation: here is how you deal with Jalen.  This is on-going.  I will have good days and bad days.  I need to look at each new day as a new opportunity.

5.  You have to ask for help.  Pretending everything is ok and posting happy pics on social media is stupid.  I am so grateful to (names listed in no particular order):  Summer, Chris, Paul, Les Copines (Tamara, Sonya, Sherry, Leanne, Jasmine) Joanne, Bev, Carla, Marquis, Jon, Pat (who will listen to me on Tuesday – lol), Stenicia, Lishel, Arlette, Rochelle, Auntie Terry, Auntie Pauline, Robert – for listening and caring.  Friends talk you off ledges – Jalen has no idea.  Lol.

I hope this helps someone. If you ever want to vent about middle school – I’m your girl!

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