(WWBT) - It's a segway in life that can be awkward, uncomfortable and in extreme cases even cruel.
Middle school can be a big change for students and parents, and it's a tough transition time for anyone.
As your kids head to middle school, some advice from a mother who has been there herself can help make the transition easier.
"When you have a kid going to middle school, really you're experiencing change but they're experiencing lots of change," Emmie Croxford, an RVA Parenting contributor, said.
"There are so many things that are different that I didn't anticipate," Croxford said.
Among the challenges were learning a new building but also how to register for activities and switch classes.
"You kind of have to find your friends and really find out what your interests are," Croxford said. "It's different. In middle school, there's clubs and all sorts of activities you can participate in that you may not have done that before. Have those conversations with your kids ahead of time."
Croxford said setting some goals and expectations for the year is a good start - and not just academic goals but human ones as well.
"What goals do you have?" Croxford said. "What can I help you do from the end of sixth grade to get you to seventh grade?"
Keep that conversation going and bring up school several times leading up to the start of class and as the year gets under way. That way when there's a problem, they know where to find you.
"If you spend the summer having these little conversations, they are sometime in the future more likely to talk to you about that," Croxford said.
No plan is perfect, but a little preparation and a lot of open communication should help.
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