Transitioning from parenting an elementary school aged student (5-10) to a middle school in San Diego aged student (11-14) can be a confusing and frustrating time. There's a lot of change and growth that takes place in kids as the prefrontal cortex of the brain starts developing around age 11, and personalities and learning style can sometimes seemingly change overnight. There is also a significant adjustment to new surroundings and schedules at school: multiple teachers, subjects, classrooms, and expectations, all with an alternating schedule. I think it's safe to say your child may struggle. They need you to be quick to encourage them and reinforce your confidence in them. There will be a transitional period for everyone and it will take time, but you must remember: time is on your side -- it’s only middle school.
Parenting this age calls for wisdom and much flexibility. There needs to be more room for independence as your child becomes more self-aware, opinionated, and naturaly desiring more freedom and responsibility. As parents, a transition may occur to add the roles of a coach and a cheerleader while continuing in the many other pre-existing roles we might be still learning.
With all this in mind, here are some helpful hints to help parents through this transitional period: