January 24, 2015

Middle School Can Be Traumatizing...For The Kids Too.

You remember when you were in middle school right? You were mostly worried about what teachers you got, who was in your classes, what was for lunch, and sports. At least that’s how I remember it. I mean yeah there were a few minor arguments (which back then felt like the end of the world). But middle school today, at least from my perspective is radically differently. Almost traumatizing and when I say traumatizing I mean for the adults as well as the kids.
Being in middle school in itself is hard. In the two years I’ve been a middle school counselor I have been in quite a few awkward moments with my students. The kids are leaving elementary school, hitting puberty, trying to figure out who they are, they’re essentially the middle children of the education system. They’re dramatic by nature and trying to stay afloat. Now let’s add in a thousand way too adult things to be worrying and thinking about and we’ve got middle school today. I’m pretty sure when I was in their shoes I was starting to hold hands probably (once I got past boys having cooties) but these kids are talking about drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, gangs, guns, bad home lives, etc. Let’s pair that with social media and technology and we are all in for a world of hurt.
It’s unfortunate. In an already delicate time of their lives they are forced to deal with things that they aren’t emotionally equipped to deal with. Why then have we made our children grow up faster than they’re biologically ready to? That’s what I’m not sure of. Maybe someone out there has some insight into this? I’m trying to wrap my own brain it so that I can be here to help them when some of them are already so far gone. Don’t get me wrong, we have some of your run of the mill middle schoolers who still believe in the tooth fairy and value their family more than the drama at school, but that’s becoming few and far between.
Sometimes I leave school towards the end of the week and feel like my head is spinning. This is one of those weeks and it’s only Thursday. Friday be good to me.

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