Jennie's Journey

Middle school-bound

Okay, so I'm not actually going to attend middle school, but my oldest child is.

To me, this is scarier than when any of my children entered kindergarten. When they did that, they were still babies to me. They still loved me with chubby hands and big hugs.

Also, when the kids entered kindergarten, there wasn't an "attitude" of disrespect.

My oldest has developed a sense that he can suddenly test the boundaries with both my husband and myself. He mouths off and makes decisions to do things we have prohibited. Then, he asks the question, "What are you going to do?"

This is a new challenge for me because he has always been kind and respectful...someone I could trust to tell me the truth. I felt proud of the fact that my son was someone others could report good news about.

Now, I am worried. I am worried that I will fail as a parent. I am worried that middle school (not the teachers, but other students) will reinforce his sudden bad behavior.

Middle school also means he will develop interests in girls and other pre-teen issues I just don't feel prepared to face.

That boy recently got himself grounded for three weeks. He is not allowed to watch television, go to the home of a friend or get on the computer.

I realize parenting is a constant struggle. It is as though someone has replaced MY kid with a kid I don't know anymore.

The good thing is when I communicate the fact that my feelings are hurt by the sudden misbehavior, he seems to get it.

I can only hope that my continuing to be diligent, disciplining him the first time, the second time and so on, will help him become the child I knew only a week ago. I hope through continued communication about my own feelings, he will see the effect he has on others.

I miss the talks we used to have and I miss him curling up in my lap for a hug.

I can only hope that, though he is growing up, he will continue to be "my little boy"...just a little longer anyhow. And, I hope, this "attitude" of doing and saying what he wants is only temporary.


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