Middle School Advice

So last week I asked you what you would say to the middle school you (as if you would have listened). (And P.S. -- can anyone else believe that was only last week??? Does it feel like about 6 weeks ago to you, too???)

So, in the name of laziness disguised as simplicity, I am compiling answers here. For one, many of us obviously did not see the value of exercise at the time and do now. Hmmmmm. Makes me thankful my daughter is an athlete. At least she is forced into exercise.

"One thing I would want my 13-year old self to know is why puberty is the way it is,
and that it won't last forever. That was a truly weird time, and I didn't even understand why.

Another would be that God loves me pretty much the way I am, and my friends will just have to learn to do so, too.

Be kind to my parents - they're learning their way through this, too.

Any cigarette smoked in the next few years will come back and bite me 50 years from now.
How much space ya got?"

"Hmmmmm. . .be nicer to your brother. He is just as confused and scared and lost and hormonal as you are, and you two are all you've got. Plus you will recall later, in great detail, the times you were unkind to him and you just can't take 'em back.

Develop good study habits. Just because you're smart enough to "get by" doesn't mean you'll always be able to.
You are not fat. You hang around with girls that weigh 75 pounds dripping wet and are a foot shorter than you. You will someday look at photos and realize that you were fine.

All the pain you are having now--the uncertainty--the doubts, those will mature into wisdom, so pay attention and hold on."

"I like what dad said: "Be kind to my parents - they're learning their way through this, too." I find myself telling my boys this from time to time, along the lines of, we as parents have been there done that, but that doesn't mean we have the answers all the time. Some things you have to figure out on your own.

I also remind them them that oftentimes if their peers taunt or make fun, are probably not feeling that great about themselves.

I also would have told my then-me to get more exercise, and not to be afraid to sweat! Exercise/physical activity is a bigtime cure-all."

"I don't know how to get it across to a 13-year old, but you are better at doing those things -- I would try to help them to see the value of reputation, that it is worth more than all the money they will ever make in a lifetime, that a foolish moment
can damage it, and that when you do or say something that could damage someone else's reputation, you also damage your own." (loved this one -- SS)

You are a great person and it all turns out ok. Study harder and learn to love exercise. God loves you unconditionally and so do your parents. Save sexy for your hubby....."

"1. You will find more success in life than most of the girls who beat you out for cheerleader three years in a row. Doing the splits is not that big an accomplishment.
2. Stick with that journalism thing -- writing is going to make a di
fference in your life.
3. Don't worry about being so tall. It works out quite well in the long run.
4. You may feel insignificant but God knows better, and someday so will you."

"I would say to parents "really listen" what we think is drama is so real to them. When they feel alone , no matter how much we say " oh come on you have friends" it does not help. There really seems to be little we can say . It is a season of life that here in America is so hard. Stay aware of what is going on. Pray pray pray. And listen more than you talk. Give a lot of grace during this time for so many academics takes a back seat to the Drama!"
"1). "8th is better than 7th and 9th is better than 8th". Being able to look ahead & know it will get better, or was better helps.
2). "You are a work in progress, God didn't intend for you to have your full beauty until you were 18 and could handle it." I come from a long line of late bloomers... and the picture albums are proof!
3). "You can't date until you are 16". That keeps the boy/girl pressure off, pair that with "The boys are going to regret being so mean to you when you are older"
and most important:
5). "You know how this works, someone has to be left out for them to feel good about themselves..."Also, Taylor Swift is a real inspiration for these girls. She's open about being left out and how it made her

"I'd say, "How bout we go to McAlisters?" That fixes EVERYTHING!"

"The road ahead is pretty tough, but you're gonna do just fine!! So hold your head up and meet it all head on, an while you're at it, here are a few things you should NOT do.........And always remember that you're worth a whole lot more than some people think you are, so don't let other people's opinions drag you down!!" Then I
think I'd Introduce myself to someone who could have introduced me to the Gospel sooner!!"

"This too shall pass. And one day you will look back on it and it will make a lot more sense. Don't label the whole state for the bad experience you had here."

"BE with them. Affirm what they do somehow, someway. They can smell a lecture 20 miles away. I've watched quite a few broken hearts heal with the unconditional love and companionship of an affirming person. It is THE most beautiful thing I've ever seen. the word."
"Oh Jr High was so tough for me-I was 75 lbs soaking wet and already 5'9, I had buck teeth and when I was on Homecoming Court in HS I still thought of all the kids who made fun of me. My mom gave me every example in the Bible of those who were 'different' and how God uses those differences to his glory. She wanted me to embrace my strong willed self and not try to fit in, blend in, when I was made to stand out :-). That helped when I felt so 'unlike'. In the end, the best advice my parents gave me was the same advice God has imprinted on my heart 'my child, this too shall pass'"

Today's prizes have very little to do with middle school, but perhaps are a reward for surviving! To enter, leave a comment telling me either which of this advice you liked best, or maybe giving some more of your own. We're kind of stuck in middle school around here at The Cleft of the Rock! I promise we're graduating soon...

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