We are officially through the first four weeks of middle school and I thought it would only be fair to share an update with everyone. In case you’ve missed my last couple of columns, our oldest son started middle school this year and we didn’t quite know what we were in for.

I’m still trying to find my balance of not being a helicopter parent, and letting him grow and learn on his own. We want our kids to learn responsibility and that we are not here to clean up every mess they get in, but at the same time we want them to succeed. I think we’re doing a pretty good job so far, but this is a day-by-day learning experience for us.

The jump from elementary school to middle school was huge, with the exception of learning the hard way of how important it is to turn in assignments, he is handling it pretty well. However, we’re entering the infamous pre-teen years and according to him “we know absolutely nothing!”

He definitely gets his fight and determination from me, but he is so much like his father it’s unreal. My husband and I have a “work hard, play hard” mentality and we take things seriously when we need to, but for the most part there’s a lot of humor and sarcasm running through our house.

It’s been a whole new adventure for us watching our son grow up, and we hope that we are setting a good example for our younger son who will be in the same boat in three years.

Not to sound too “cliché” but so much has changed since we were in school. Our sons school is completely technology based, which means that most of his school work is done on a school issued iPad, which I had to take a quick mini-session to learn how to check his work and navigate his day.

He doesn’t have a locker, so he carries all of his work and materials needed for the entire day in his backpack. He is learning the hard way that you don’t always like the things you have to do — i.e. Spanish — but you just suck it up and get through it.

Because, believe it or not, mom and dad actually know what they’re talking about and it will benefit you down the road. Spanish is a requirement later on, but we are the crazy ones for having him take advantage of being able to get high school credits in middle school.

The eye rolls and loud sighs have shown up in full force, and it’s funny to hear the things come out of my mouth that I heard from my parents as a child. I always said that when I had kids I would be a completely different parent, I would be fun and let my kids do whatever they wanted. Little did I know, and much to my surprise, my parents actually knew what they were talking about and did a great job showing me what it meant to be a good parent. I’m sure I will have more updates as we get further down this new chapter of our lives, as I can only imagine (and fear) what the next couple of years hold for us.

Elizabeth Engelhardt is the publisher for the Seguin Gazette.

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