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Countering Myths About Junior High, Adolescence, and Parent Involvement

Welcome Parents of Incoming 7th Graders!

Junior high can be an exciting time for your new 7th grader and for you as parents, and of course an anxious time too. While there are a lot of changes that new 7th graders face, there are some misconceptions about what is “normal” or healthy during this time. Below are a few myths we want to dispel about junior high and teenagers.

Myth #1: “This is the time to back off” – Junior high is meant to be a time for teenagers to disconnect from parents and learn more from their peers as they develop their identity.

Fact: Junior high is a social and educational experiment that was started 100 years ago in the U.S. and the results are mixed. Extended periods of time where young adolescents are around each other and largely isolated from adults can be damaging.* It’s important for caring parents and adults to stay connected and give ongoing support.

Myth #2: “This craziness is normal” — The storm and stress of adolescence is a normal part of growing up for all humans, and helps teenagers become more resilient.

Fact: The turbulent period of adolescence is a new phenomenon created in the last century in western civilization, and in fact the word “teenager” was not even invented until the 1930s. The turmoil of adolescence, which often includes depression, anger, and identity problems, is often a product of environment and culture and not something inherent to the ages of 13-18.**

Myth #3: “You are no longer needed” — Teenagers in junior high don’t need or want their parents around or involved in their school. And schools don’t want parents around either.

Fact: When adolescent students are given anonymous surveys they say that they like their parents and other adults being involved but act like they don’t in front of their peers because they worry about peer acceptance.

Schools need parent and other adult volunteers as well! For instance, several times each day on any given day in junior high there are 500-1000+ teenagers interacting with little adult guidance or supervision, including before school, lunch, and after school.

Our Vision: We believe junior high can be an inspiring time for our youth and a great experience for us as their parents. Research shows that maintaining a positive parent-youth connection during this time can lead to optimal growth for students and can be a fun, rejuvenating experience for parents as well.*

Parent Volunteers Needed and Welcome! We have amazing administrators, teachers, and counselors at FFJH but you can imagine how overwhelming it would be to supervise so many students each day. The purpose of parent volunteers is to provide support and alleviate some of this burden and to help create a caring and connected environment for our students.

How to sign up?

Click on link to Signup Genius: CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER

Go to our new website: www.fairfieldvolunteer.org

Send email to VolunteerFairfield@gmail.com for more info

References:

*Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, by Daniel Siegel

**Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence, by Robert Epstein

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