Let’s be honest – middle schoolers get a bad rap. But why? It turns out, their brains are actually growing faster than any other time in their lives, other than infancy, leading to a lot questionable decisions—but also a lot of potential. Experts Michelle Icard, Judy Willis, Laura Tierney, Natasha Burgert, Tim Coleman and Ahna Suleiman weighed in to give us an inside look at just what goes on in the brain during this time – and how we, as parents, can help navigate all of the changes and developments. Special thanks to NBC News education correspondent Rehema Ellis for voicing this series.
Middle school is full of changes, but not all of them are visible – or predictable. One of the biggest and most surprising shifts will be your tweens’ relationships – both with their friends and with you. Here’s how you can support your middle schooler, even when they start pulling away.