Middle School-Age Children: An In-Between Stage
Speaking from personal and professional experience, I think middle school-age children have it tough. At this age, they’re at an in-between stage of feeling more grown-up than they are, but the reality is that they’re still children. They want and need more independence but they also need guidance and support.
I think that it’s even harder for today’s middle school-age children when you factor this developmental stage with the various unique stressors they may face, such as academic pressures, problems at home, or the distorted virtual realities of social media. Bullying, including cyberbullying, is on the rise and it can become incessant. As a result of these pressures, suicide is becoming a leading cause of death among middle school students.
The Role of Music in Developing Key Life Skills
In this video, I talk a bit about how kids at this age can develop some key life skills through music. These skills may sound familiar to you if you’ve read my previous posts on music and childhood development. They are self-control and self-mastery.
These skills are important because they help children take responsibility for their actions. While at the same time, these skills also give them the tools they need to make healthy life choices. It helps them to become the person they want to be and to hopefully experience great success in their lives.
In my experience, these are some of the greatest needs faced by kids these days. Many kids seem to be having increased difficulty controlling their bodies and behaviors, due to feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger. Likewise, as they spend more time connected to devices, the reward circuits in their brains are also getting wired to respond to instant gratification. This leads to a loss of resiliency and perseverance towards undertaking more challenging tasks and activities.
Feeling at Your Wit’s End?
I can appreciate that this age isn’t easy for anyone. It’s likely not easy for your child. Nor is it easy for you.
If this sounds like your situation and you’re the parent of a middle school-age child who you just don’t know how to help, contact me. We can discuss ways in which I might be able to help them and you at this challenging time.