OMG! Thank you for this post Zee! I know I'm not alone, but one of the hardest things about middle school is that you are not on the "inside" as much as elem school. At my kids' middle school, they rely totally on the kids to "have responsibility" to tell me when things are happening. Anything really important, I learned the hard way, comes mailed with report cards, and you better read everything that comes in the mail from cover to cover! Needless to say, from the kids, I hear nothing! Don't hestitate to call the school, that's what they are paid for! My dtr told me once that another child fainted with the heat in gym and the gym teacher didn't let her go to the nurse when she asked. I called the school, even tho it wasn't my kid, and that is my usual rule, it has to involve my own kid before I c/o, and found out that was not the way it happened at all, which I told the VP I was happy to find out! Also, if you think they are having trouble, contact the guidance counselor.
My dtr was in 6th grade this year. She is blonde, blue-eyed, slim, and cute (nothing like me.) She now gets phone calls all evening long, and she says "I can't help it if I'm so popular!" Yes, she's one of those girls you loved to hate in school, but I have also taught her to stand up for the underdog, and if I ever hear of her picking on another kid, she would be banned from cheerleading. She spends all day long primping, and I wake her up at the last possible minute in the morning to delay the choosing of clothes ritual as long as possible, "I have nothing to wear!" She is still getting excellent grades at this point. OH! And the first day of Cheerleading try-outs, the poor thing got her first period, she had such bad cramps, she could hardly move. Surprisingly, there was very little drama with the period, pimples however are high drama for her!
My son is 14, moving up to HS. His grades have taken a plunge, esp in the 3rd marking period, but after limiting all of his video games, etc, he now has 2 A's (one in math!) and 2 B's that said "Close to the next highest grade" on his mid-period report. He says he's not too interested in girls, and he is not into the phone calls and things like some of his other friends, but my friends assure me, they have had a son who may be a "late bloomer" and the whole thing doesn't start until 16. I had one bad scare this year with him, which, w/o getting into it, made me seriously think he is primed to start using drugs, and if the opportunity presented itself, I think he would, despite all our teaching. He went for a tour of the HS for a day, he shadowed a 9th grader, and he says they were smoking pot in the boys BR. I wouldn't doubt it. When I was in HS, back in the late 70's, I was offered every drug under the sun...in the girl's BR!!
I had to laugh when you said you had all taught your kids not to fight back. I did that for awhile, but then I sent my son to Karate, since he was so small, I wanted him to be able to defend himself in middle school. (The year he was born, a child was assualted in the hallway after school, and had his skull bashed in with a baseball bat, never knew if he made it,or had permanent dmg, etc.... being post partum, I cried my eyes out in fear...even then.) So, I told my kids, they had my full permission to KICK A$$ if anyone so much as brushed up against them in a threatening way. So far, they haven't had to go there, but I have no doubt lpnandloveit, that my dtr could take someone out! My son works out everyday and he is small but all muscle, and he could too, but he would be less likely to do it.
Ah, it is NO coincidence that gray hair starts at this age for us!!!! I think I can name for every gray hair, and incident involving my kids, and one whole shock of it to one B**ch at work! We will get through if we stick together and keep giving them the positive messages.