Ken Barringer, director of the Academy of Physical and Social Development in Newton, recently spoke to BCDS parents about the emotional lives of their middle school children.
February 6 talk, Barringer
stressed how important it is for parents to first take care of their own emotional lives in order to best help their children navigate early adolescence."What are we doing to take care of ourselves so we can do this stressful job?"he
asked.Barringer, who also teaches at Boston College School of Education, encouraged parents to look at how they're defining their children's behavior.He
explained, "How you define your child's behavior is going to impact how you react to it - is the behavior oppositional, or is your child reacting out of frustration?"
recommended, should look at the four Cs in their children's lives:
the Care they receive the Consistency with which they receive it the Connections their children have with peers, their family, and the media how Competent they are at the things they enjoy doing. Barringer
emphasized that for middle school students especially, social connections have a huge influence on their emotional lives."The media - movies, video games, the Internet, Instant Messenger - is not going away.Our kids are not going to grow up the way the previous generation did, and the media are not all bad," he
stressed that parents need to monitor usage and content.
noted that kids don't know how to respond to "How was your day?"
The biggest influence on middle schoolers is their peers."I am my peer group," he
...Top Photo: Ken Barringer with Christine DiFilippo, MS Counselor