Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Involved at Your Child's Middle School Dance

As a parent of a Middle School Student, you are probably concerned about how to stay involved with your child's life... while giving them the space to grow and become more independent. Helping plan your child's Middle School dance is one great way to accomplish this--and provide much needed assistance to weary administrators and over-extended teachers.

As a volunteer, you may be asked to head a committee or tasked with a single job such as hiring the right DJ. Whatever your involvement, be sure to include your son or daughter in to the planning process, asking for feedback and ideas. Having a task to accomplish together will establish a bonding, and set the tone for how you and your student will work together throughout their school social activities through Middle and High School. Remember, they will be exerting their own personal style, and their music or clothing choices may not be your own, but are not necessarily bad. As long as they fit the school's policies and are not crude or inappropriate, your child's tastes should be considered. This dance is not for you... it is for the kids and should reflect what they would like!

Take the cues from your child too, as they may be very willing to help you in music selection while you sit at home, but may completely ignore you as a chaperone at the dance while with their friends. Try not to take it personally--your child is growing up and trying to establish boundaries. At the end of the night, or the next day though, be sure to ask your child about the event, and maintain that open line of communication. You may find they are receptive to sharing with you more when not trying to show-off for their friends.

The Middle School years can be rough ones for parents and children, but they can also be profoundly rewarding! Stay involved, volunteer, engage... but remember to take a step back when the situation merits it. You are helping your son or daughter grow, by allowing them a little freedom of space and expression.

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