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Parents Guide for the Transition to Middle School

friends for the transition to middle school

Encourage Social Connections with Peers

Lastly, for a successful middle school experience, it’s essential to provide opportunities for positive social connections before and even after your son or daughter starts middle school.  Experts say in Kindergarten, social connections are more important than academic and the same holds true in middle school.  As middle school approaches plan beach days, put them in sport or surf camp or plan outings with peers that may be going to the same school.

For some kids, they may already plan their own social connections and that’s an important piece to support.  For others, you may need to encourage the time with peers and promote those relationships.  As a parent, offering support to encourage those social connections is very important because it will  help because they will have already practiced and established those connections before they head into the new experience at school.

Another helpful idea to encourage positive peer relationships might be to have an older middle school friend show them around the campus before school starts.  There are lots of responsibilities that come with middle school from having a locker, going to different classes, finding the cafeteria, wondering where to sit, etc.  If your son or daughter knows of someone, even a grade older, have them show them around the campus. It’s a great way to encourage the peer relationships, support independence and also an excellent dress rehearsal for the big day.

The transition to middle school is a big one, but walking into it prepared can help everyone look forward to this new beginning.

Sandee Bandettini, MS, MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that lives in Orange County, CA. Sandee Bandettini, MS, MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that lives in Orange County, CA. Sandee offers individuals and nonprofit organizations resources to live healthy and happy lives. In her free time, Sandee enjoys her family, fitness and volunteering. For additional information, please see

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