When I was a kid, I did “sleepovers” at my friend’s houses. By the time I was double-digit age, it was no longer “cool” and it stopped. Today’s kids start sleepovers early and, apparently, they never end. Today, there are sleepovers of groups of high-schoolers, and sleepovers of boy/girl couples IN one of their parents’ homes. HELLO?
Most of us have plenty of stories of our first love, teen love, and many love stories later on in life. Being the father of two teen boys, I’ve witnessed their social lives, lived a bit vicariously through them, and been reminded about how we all must find our own way. We all must learn our lessons. And, we as parents really can’t and shouldn’t overly protect our children from these valuable lessons. Hopefully, if we’ve raised them right, they will make the right choices and decisions. To me, that’s part of the ongoing serial drama of being a parent!
When they say, “What goes around, comes around” they must have had me in mind. That’s because I gave my parents a certain degree of difficulty during my teen years. Now, I have double that trouble, since I have two teens at home. The good news is that one of them will be heading off to college in six months. The bad news is that the one left behind is as or more difficult than his older college-bound brother.
My “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column is carried all over the world and one of the wonderful peripheral benefits I receive is “virtually” meeting so many wonderful editors, publishers, and web-masters. One of them is Jennifer Jurgens, the news director/executive assistant, at wyomingnetwork.com. They have 17 community websites across Wyoming. She is also a wonderful and involved mom. Recently, she wrote to me asking some questions that related to her daughter beginning middle school. Well, to be more accurate, she was suggesting that these questions (a.k.a. issues) could be the basis for one of my columns.
Unlike the “Empty Nest Syndrome,” that is well known, documented, and ubiquitously written about, the “Middle School Syndrome” is my term for what I believe is a newer “syndrome.” This column will bring this reality out from the shadows where it has lurked! To be clear, the term “Middle School Syndrome” is mine and it is based on my experiences and those of parents that I know. I suspect it is widespread, but I’m sure it is not present in every community and every school district.