5 Things Middle School Boys Worry About

middle school boys

As a youth leader at my church, I’m privy to the world of middle school boys. On a weekly basis, I get to hear about their favorite music, current trends, and what’s happening inside their schools.

Because of the trust we’ve developed, the kids also tell me about their fears, concerns and anxieties. One day while we were casually chatting, I asked the boys what were some of the things they worried about. At first they were a bit tentative, but they soon flooded me with various issues that were on their minds.

Of the dozens of things they discussed, these were their top five concerns:

Being accepted by peers

Kids have a strong desire to fit in and will do almost anything to make other kids like them — even to their own detriment. No child wants to be an outcast, so they’re often willing to hang on to even the most destructive of relationships just to have a friend.  As parents, we must talk about and model the Golden Rule (treating others the way we want to be treated) and respect at home, so our children can use that as a standard when interacting with their peers.

Disappointing their parents

Although it sometimes feels as if our kids don’t value our opinion of them, nothing could be further from the truth. Teenagers want their parents’ approval and fear disappointing them. They want their parents to be proud of them. They want to hear their parents’ tell them they’ve done a good job. While some days it may be challenging to find something nice to say about our confrontational, rebellious teen, we have to do it – every day. Extend them a little grace and give them some encouraging words. Those kind words may be the only ones they’ve heard that day.

Parents’ getting divorced

When kids hear their parents’ arguing, they get nervous. They’ve seen the devastation caused by divorce in their friends’ lives, and they don’t want to experience it themselves. About half of the boys in my group have divorced parents, and it seems as if more couples are getting divorced each week.

During one of my mentoring sessions, I noticed one the boys with his head on the table. I found it odd because the young man was usually fully engaged in our conversations. Before we left, I pulled him aside and asked what was wrong. He sighed and stared at his shoes. “My parents just got a divorce,” he said.

Kids usually don’t understand why parents are getting a divorce and many times blame themselves. The school guidance counselor or a minister at church are great resources to make this transition easier on their children…Read the rest of the article on Your Teen Magazine.

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: What do your kids worry about the most?

photo by Muriel Heard-Collier

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About the author
Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at fjgoodall@mochadad.com or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mochadad
  1. This is a timely article for me. My son is finishing the 5th grade at elementary school and will start 6th grade at middle school this fall. The middle school is much bigger and farther away than his elementary school, and I know it’s going to be an adjustment for him to be one of the youngest kids in school instead of one of the oldest. I plan to spend the summer trying to get him psychologically and emotionally prepared.

    • We went through the same thing with my daughter last summer. The most important thing for her was learning how to operate her combination lock. She practiced all summer long. She was really worried about middle school, but relaxed after a few weeks into the school year.