Researchers at the University of Oregon may be on to something middle school teachers and parents need to focus on – the shifting friendships happening as their fifth graders move into the sixth grade. Read the full article here:
- As the early adolescent moves from one teacher to multiple teachers and classrooms, his or her social radar gets finely tuned into a plethora of new friendship possibilities. This is just the place where new friendships begin to blossom, for good or for not.
- One of the profound conclusions is that young students who engage in friendships that are “pro-social,” [meaning that they are socially active friendships that respect rules and enjoy activities planned and monitored by caring, attentive adults], do better academically in high school and are better adjusted into their early twenties.
- Academics are a vital focus during middle school but teachers and parents need to pay specific attention to the development of healthy, positive, social friendships among their children and students. Know your children, know their friends, and meet their friends parents.
- Parents are wise to plan and support wholesome activities and establish clear behavior boundaries, while monitoring compliance and holding to consequences for misbehavior.
- Parents, teachers, and youth workers will wisely collaborate and communicate about the friendships developing in their sphere of influence. Intervention is appropriate when friendship bonds lead to a sudden increase in rebellion and rule breaking.