With over 40 million kids passing through middle school over the next decade, the ability to build confidence, maintain a connection and manage challenge with your child has never been more important for parents.
After significant effort, a few years of writing and the contributions of hundreds, my book, A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, is now available for purchase through Amazon.com. Think forward to the end of the school year for those friends and colleagues who are approaching the middle school years and buy them a copy or two. The folks who have read the manuscript seem to agree that my ideas help to pave the way for kids and parents who want to thrive in the years ahead.
Ten Speed Press of Berkeley, California found me and took an interest in bringing the book to print. Here's a preview.
Whether your child starts middle school or junior high in 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th grade the transition to middle school will mark a significant change in your family. Thriving throughout the middle school years doesn’t happen by accident. Kids and parents who find fulfillment during these years do so because it is their intention and vision to do so. This book lays the groundwork for building a vision that takes parents into, through and beyond the challenges and changes of the middle school years including what parents now consider to be one of the top issues--bullying. The logistics of navigating a heavy course load at school and finding the ideal organization system, although important, comprise only a small slice of the pie that families are expected to consume during these years. Finding friends while overcoming frienship challenges like cliques and bullies can be a daily challenge.
Taken at its roots, this book is a conversation about three ideas: confidence, connection and challenge. Parents looking for a book filled with band-aids and the quick fixes will be disappointed. However, reading from beginning to end will reward the parent who is committed to taking action not just today, but everyday as their child tackles middle school and teen years to come.
The chapters flow in a rhythmic way allowing for simultaneous thought and action throughout the book rather than waiting until the end to spur a reader’s call to action. The opening chapter highlights the benefits of positive peer relationships and the destructive power that bullying can bring to a child’s life. Building a team, one the book’s key points, will serve to support a child’s continued growth and self confidence during the social transition that kids make as they enter middle school. Central to the idea of a team are a child’s teachers. On any given day a middle school student will interact with five to seven teachers who add another level of support and challenge to a child’s life. Building a strong bond with this incredible group of individuals strengthens a child’s ability to overcome challenge and thrive.
Beyond the classroom, the book explores topics central to the middle school years. Extracurricular activities become a prominent part of the day for many kids. Managing an increasing course load while trying to meet the expectations of a full afterschool schedule can leave both kids and parents feeling frazzled. We will look at ways to manage the madness on route to a stress-free year.
Although intriguing for kids, the internet has left parents at a loss for how to best support their child’s safe and appropriate use of the online world. Social networking giant, Facebook garners significant media attention for their connection to abductions, predators and cyberbullying incidents. Although the media highlights the danger kids face we will present an accurate picture of the peril currently present online as well as strategies for staying connected with your web-savvy child.
Whereas most books attempt to provide answers this book prompts questions; questions that lead to conversations, which in turn, build relationships. The book wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a selected number of tips and strategies so I’ve included the nuts and bolts of getting organized, managing time and meeting the expectations of teachers across a seven period schedule. My intention in bringing this book to the nearly 40 million parents starting middle school is to provide a solid foundation for thriving in the years ahead.
Schools and organizations may purchase books with a purchase order. Please contact Joe either by email (joe@MiddleSchoolYears.com) or by phone (805-889-2142) for more information about sending in your purchase order.