Identity Crisis | 31 Days of Back to School
Working with middle school students has opened my eyes to the identity crisis our tweens face in their childhood these days. If it’s not the hormones then it’s the social pressures they put on themselves to fit in. And trust me, adults advising “this too shall pass” is not as helpful as we’d like it to be.
How to help any kiddo facing an identity crisis:
I see many students labeled as disorganized when in all truth, they just have a different organizing personality than the adults guiding them through life.
Tips for the parent:
When you see your child doing things differently than you would, ask them to explain their strategy. Listen to their answers. Encourage them to keep tweaking until it works FOR them.
Tips for the teacher:
The teaching team I work closely with has learned so much about assessing students for disorganization vs. something else. Terms like “messy marvin” or “pigpen” cut much deeper on a struggling student than most adults realize. The first thing I ask a student when they’ve been sent to work with me is “can you show me where your homework is?”. Then I observe their actions. Do they go right to it? Or do they fumble? This single act tells me a lot about the skills this student needs to work on.
Tips for the mentor:
A mentor may possibly be the best person to advocate for a student’s identity crisis. Accepting a kiddo for their own quirks, encouraging them to be strong and own the things in their personality that make them who they are as well as understanding what coping skills can help when they are faced with doing things their way are all critical in raising functioning efficient adults.
I’d love to hear how you have or intend on helping a student with their identity crisis this year during the back to school time, head on over to The Mental Clutter Coach Facebook Page or chime in below.