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Middle school is a tough time for many. Not only are bodies going through big changes, so too are emotions. For the expanded perception child, so too are their gifts. These are confusing times because the old ways of being accepted by peers are altering, and tight knit groups are being formed as old friendships fade away.

For the Crystal Child, now the dominant group of youth with expanded perceptions, these years are even more delicate and sensitive because Crystals are most comfortable with no conflict. A Crystal wants friends and acquaintances to be kind and respectful to everyone, and most tend to avoid conflict as much as possible. I say most because not every Crystal will experience these feelings, though it appears a vast majority do.

As altruistic as this thought process is, we all know that the middle school/junior school years experience is full of conflict and angst.  Our world is still battling old mentalities that need to fall in order for the children to thrive.

For all of youth, these early years are made more challenging because suddenly being perceived as different isn’t seen as a good thing by peers. The tween and early teen years are about “falling in-line” in order to be accepted, not about discovering the uniqueness of  the individual. This type of mentality can derail any individual in ways that can lead to self destructive behaviors, and loss of connection to self. Some youth are lucky to embraced for their uniqueness, especially if they have a vibrant personality mixed with big humor.  But for the rest, being different is often seen as a threat, or not being good enough.

Depending on the youth’s family environment, the youth may be open to discussion regarding the shift in energy with their peers. Encouraging open conversation and not coming to quick and absolute conclusions while conversing about their life away from home allows the youth to feel they can discuss most things with their parents and parents get to provide guidance if wanted and necessary. It is essential for parents to let their Crystal Child know that however they choose to handle any situation at school, their choices will be supported. This is a key time in life for them to learn to trust their gut, especially with their gifts becoming more pronounced. If this means that they choose to have a few select friendships, than this needs to be honored and supported.

Another change in middle school is the dynamic of a group. Some groups are very positive and supportive of one another, while others only appear to be so. Some youth are so uncomfortable with their individuality, and/or their isolation due to their uniqueness, that they will put aside their true self in order to relieve the pain of not understanding why being different is considered wrong.  This is a temporary relief, these choices will have to be faced eventually in life, hopefully with not much pain or discomfort. Some individuals will become aware that the group dynamic isn’t what they need, and remove themselves as necessary, while others will learn what they need to from the group and move on.  But there will be those who want to stay with the group, no matter if it is toxic or not.

In a society full of horror stories relating to bullying and toxic friendships, parents must be more vigilant about understanding what the dynamic truly is within a group their child is apart of. Being in a group of friends does not always mean that it is a healthy environment for your child. Watch out for these types of personalities in order to be there for your child and to help them extract themselves from the group:

The Queen/King Bee:  The self placed leader of the group – what they says goes. The other youth within the group will always give in to this individual’s whims and demands. Members of the group will most likely be subjected to comments about their appearance, grades, athleticism, family members and more. Youth may also be alienated or thrown out of the group because this individual has decided to punish them.  This individual has all the power in the group, targets different members randomly and thrives on the perceived power that comes from being rude and unsympathetic to others. They can also have extreme reactions to situations that touch upon their fears, and lash out at others in the group.

The Savior: Much like the Queen Bee, this individual is fulfilling a role that makes them feel important, but instead of taking energy from others randomly, they gain temporary positive energy by saving the day, being helpful or all knowing. Perhaps they come across like a mentor, a compassionate individual, or even a hero who swoops in to save the day. Sometimes these saviors sweep in out of genuine, heartfelt empathy. But these individuals have become addicted to the applause and adulation in an unhealthy manner. The rescues they perform feed the lack of importance they feel inside, also help to avoid the insecurity inside. Their rescues provide false sense of empowerment and unfortunately, instead of being pleased when others perform a good deed, they are threatened that someone else has received adulation and/or praise, and make a life miserable for the other friend who has performed the good deed.

The Expert: Experts are constantly trying to master everything so that they are considered the best or most informed. They love the respect that knowledge brings to them, but the added twist is that they are threatened by those who might know things they don’t know or who are perceived by others to be better suited to a project, role or position.

The common thread with these different personality types is that when they feel threatened by an individual, they will then move in and attack in ways that are unhealthy.  Sometimes they will try to damage character and/or accomplishments, other times they will succeed in turning others against one member of the group in extremely inappropriate ways. This may be subtle or full on, but all are forms of bullying. These personality types must feel power and control in order to feel good about themselves. Riddled with insecurity and fears, some are in-your-face, while others will be very cunning and manipulative in how they handle the situation, but the ultimate goal is to destroy the threat to their treasured roles.

Some Crystal Children will follow these group leaders in order to avoid conflict or being the target. They may also silently suffer through a time in which they are targeted, too embarrassed to say anything to anyone. Others may try to escape the group diplomatically, turning down invitations to sleep overs, activities, and other experiences they had previously enjoyed. Don’t question why, be supportive until they’re ready to speak about what is going on. If you want to pursue more information without nagging your child, talk to their team leader at school. This lead teacher can then speak to all your students teachers to find out if they’ve noticed different behavior at school, perhaps even have a meeting with you to discuss concerns and anything they’ve noted.

Above all, Crystals need support from home so that being an island in an ocean of people isn’t a threat to who they are, it is a badge of pride. They will encounter people like this their entire life as they pave the way to a world of new consciousness. With constant and consistent support,  your Crystal Child can learn to embrace their individuality with pride, and strength.

For more information on the different types of group dynamics your child may encounter in school, or if you or your child have suffered from one of these types of situations,  I would suggest The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. This book was suggested to my family by a lawyer and social worker when one of my youth was exposed to a bad bullying situation. Not everyone is a sociopath, but the situations in this book provide insights into behavior that is typical of the group situations discussed in this blog.  Easy to understand, this book provides great, positive advice on how to handle each situation, each type of individual. 

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