He's probably feeling a mix of excitement and apprehension at the prospect of beginning middle school in case your tween is like most. Helping tweens make the transition from elementary school to middle school helps prepare them for a successful academic year.  The middle school years provide plenty of opportunities for your son or daughter to develop socially, academically, and intellectually while it may be difficult for you or your tween to say good-bye to elementary school. Make sure your tween understands that middle school may be very different from elementary school. Help her understand that her teachers will expect her to be more responsible, and take on additional homework.  Point out that middle school will offer social activities and clubs that elementary school never had, such as band, sports clubs, and other opportunities on the up side. Also, many middle school cafeterias offer items such as a salad bar, potato bar, or a pizza bar. Many middle schools offer an open house or a "getting to know us" evening for both children and parents.

Preparing your tween for middle school

Such events are wonderful opportunities for both you and your son or daughter to familiarize yourselves with the new school. Don't hesitate to call the school to request a tour with the principal or the guidance counselor if such opportunities aren't offered. Your child may get more out of a tour if he invites a classmate along. Save him a little time by going over the school's dress code, cell phone rules, bus rules, and cafeteria rules in case your middle schooler tends to find out about rules the hard way. Discuss the school's consequence policy (and yours, too). The middle school years present enormous social pressures for children and introduce them to a variety of dangers. Take every possible opportunity to reinforce your family's rules and values regarding smoking, drugs, alcohol, dating, co-ed sleepovers, and any other issues of concerns. Role play with your child about how he should react when confronted by a classmate to smoke or drink alcohol. Stay on top of your child's social situation by getting to know his friends and their parents. Take action in case ou see a change in your child's personality, or his grades begin to drop. Contact the school guidance counselor to find out if there might be something going on at school or on the bus, such as bullying. Remind your child every now and then that you are there to help, and that he can talk to you about anything. Be sure to give your child numerous opportunities to ask questions about her new experience and express concerns. You may think your daughter is stressed about changing classes, when she may really be worried about whether or not she'll remember her locker combination. Starting all over at a new school is hard enough, but starting over when you're struggling with math or reading can make the experience a nightmare.