PART ONE The Foundation for Parenting Middle Schoolers – Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years


The Foundation for Parenting Middle Schoolers


In the next five chapters, I’ll give you a simple foundation of theories you’ll need to understand and distill the advice I dispense in the second half of the book, where I’ll get very practical and specific about scenarios that are probably happening at your home and what you can do and say to manage them. You may be tempted, in your search for answers, to flip right to the second half of the book and find the solution to your problems, but I encourage you to read through the first section to help you commit to the new solutions I’ll introduce. Otherwise, they may not make sense. Then, keep this book handy, tucked into your car door or perched on your nightstand, so that when a situation arises, you can flip and find the help you need.


One more important instruction for how to use this book is to remember with empathy what it was like when you were young. My writing is heavily peppered with references to ’70s and ’80s pop culture, which informed my coming of age and probably yours, too. Mostly, this is because I think they’re funny and I can’t help myself. But they also serve a higher purpose, reminding us that we can’t overlook the important influence of pop culture on our kids’ social development. What better way to see this than through a nostalgic lens that brings into focus the effects of pop culture on our own development. You feel me? No? Kiss my grits.

Now let’s begin, as any decent makeover should, with a good foundation.