Middle school is full of ups and downs. Girls have a lot to deal with in middle school. But it's not all bad from power struggles and the rumor mill, to conflicting impulses and strong emotions. Middle school also can be an exciting time for girls. They are developing close friendships, gaining some independence and forming their social circles. Knowing what to expect and how to navigate the sometimes-unpredictable waters of middle school friendships is the key to success. There are a number of things you can do to prepare your daughter for middle school and the friendships that go with it. Now whThey talk in person about music, movies, clothes, crafts, books and sometimes even boys.en girls get together, they mostly want to talk unlike when they were in elementary school.  And they will talk online or through texting when they cannot talk in person. Parents who understand this change will be more prepared to help their daughters with challenges. Listen to what your daughter is saying about school and friends. Don’t immediately jump in and try to fix things, but instead allow her to talk. And she will be more likely to keep you in the loop when things do go wrong in case you empathize with what she is saying.

How to bully-proof your middle school daughter

Be sure you are doing all you can to help her feel good about herself because middle school can do a lot to unravel a girl's self-esteem. Cliques get stronger, the need to be the one in control intensifies and some girls get meaner. And much of this behavior stems from wanting to belong. The need to belong is so intense that they will do whatever they can to eliminate the competition for some girls. These girls are known as mean girls. They use rumors, ostracizing and gossip to control situations and bully other girls. You need to be sure you know how kids are bullying today from cyberbulling and sexting to ostracizing and other forms of relational aggression. Technology has created a new platform for bullying and girls especially seem to embrace it while face-to-face bullying still exists.  Don’t get left behind. Educate yourself and then educate your daughter. A good friend is the one who will look out for her, care about her, include her in activities and treat her with respect. Good friends are also empathetic, loyal and cooperative. Encourage her to find friends with these qualities. Help your daughter identify which girls might make suitable friends. These friendships are often characterized by subtle put-downs, manipulation, exclusion and other hurtful behaviors. She will struggle with negative feelings about herself in case your daughter has friends like this. These are the friends who are nice to your daughter’s face, but gossip about her behind her back. Frenemies also try to control their friends and will use subtle put-downs to undermine self-esteem. Mean girls often spread rumors, whisper or laugh when other girls walk by and talk loudly about exclusive parties. They also gossip, tell lies and ostracize other girls.