Most of us remember our middle school years as some of the most difficult to traverse. Our bodies changing from child to young adult, childhood activities and innocence ebbing away slowly, and peer pressure reaching new levels of crushing intimidation. Adding to these challenges is the beginning of gifts starting to strongly emerge.
Beginning at age ten and easing off at fourteen, a person’s unique capabilities have the opportunity to blossom along with the rest of their body. This often begins with great fascination, especially for those who are aware of their gifts at a young age and whose family life has made it clear that these things are a normal aspect of who they are. At age ten, most are still in an elementary school environment but peer pressure is beginning to be felt in a new way and it intensifies with each passing year. Crushes may be reciprocated, an interest in their appearance takes a turn, and they may be more intensely aware of what their classmates are doing and are interested in, and who they consider the right people to friend. By the time they reach middle school their peers are judging one another in ways that are often demeaning.
What happens to their gifts when they are in these types of petri-dish environments? Some will be able to handle these situations with great confidence while others will retreat from them, perhaps never awakening again, or not until they are an adult. While these are blanket generalizations, the reality is how they handle these years depends on their home life foundation, their own self worth, and how these two important factors are practiced during these years.
Parenting through transition from child to adult is just as important as the early formative years. Children are entering into a world in which labels seem to be everywhere, and the crystal children really want to be a part of a world where everyone is unique, undefined by the limits of such narrow thinking. It helps if their home life embraces the idea that each individual on this earth is as important as the next. Strongly exhibited with word, thought and action, allowing the child to feel secure and strong while being faced with situations with their friends and classmates that are the opposite of what they know in their home life.
Extremely open conversation during this period is the best game plan. While some may resist, regular meals together, open ended questions, and time shared as a family will be a grounding experience for any youth, not just the new consciousness youth. Prepare your child with honesty about the possible changes and challenges they will come across while at school. Let them know elementary school friends will start making poor choices, and make sure you are clear about what those poor choices are. Listening without judgment is also extremely important. Your child may be sharing surprising revelations about friends and classmates that make you feel alarmed and disappointed. Instead of making a statement, let them talk it out, and ask them how they feel about these decisions and choices. Just knowing they can talk to you and you’re actively listening will give them the strength to continue to stand strong in their own center. Knowing you’re there gives them that extra embrace of strength and support while at school. When they hear stories of your experiences, they will feel more confidant that they aren’t the first to go through these situations and can survive.
It’s key that you take time doing activities that help their gifts emerge. Quiet often helps; quiet spent doing something creative, reading, involved in a class. Spend time doing activities that are connected to their gifts so they feel more confidant – activities that allow you to have a good understanding of the challenges they may be experiencing. Sometimes control will be an issue, while another may be learning to stay centered and grounded. For some their gift may be multi-faceted so they may have many different parts of the gift to learn and master. It’s best in this situation to take the main aspect of this gift and learn to find comfort with it and then the smaller aspects will come together with greater ease. Whatever the situation, they need to know that while they’re moving closer to adulthood you are still there sharing and listening with interest, affection and full acceptance.