A Combination Lock Can be the Cure to Middle School Anxiety



My 11-year-old son is transitioning from elementary school to middle school. All summer long, he’s been filled with a mixture of anxiety and excitement.

He’s thrilled about being a sixth-grader and the independence that comes with it. On the flip side, all of that independence worries him a bit. No longer will he have teachers guiding him through the hallway to make sure he gets to the places he needs to be. He’s going to be responsible for managing his schedule, his classes, his extra-curricular activities, and his homework. All of this extra responsibility has made him somewhat nervous about this new chapter in his life.

He’s read all of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” books and his biggest fear is ending up like the main character, Greg.

Thankfully, he has a big sister who has completed middle school. All summer long, he has been bombarding her with questions. Are the teachers nice? What will we have for lunch? How long do I have to get to class after the bell rings? What do I do if I get lost between classes?

My daughter was patient and answered his litany of questions. After he had asked everything he wanted to know (for the moment), she gave him one more important piece of knowledge.

“If you want to be successful in middle school,” she told him. “Be sure to learn your locker combination and know how to open it on the first day of school.”

“What?” He asked astonished. My son was surprised to learn that all of his anxiety could be relieved with a simple combination lock.

“It’s pretty simple,” she said with the wisdom of a sage. “If you can successfully open your locker without any help, you will be able to transition from one class to the next without any problems. You will also be able to earn points among your peers if you can help them with their locker combinations.”

While my daughter’s advice seemed simple enough in theory, it was much more difficult in action. My son often forgets to wash his face and brush his teeth. I was worried that he’d have a hard time remembering a locker combination. We spent some time working with various locks, but he’d always forget the combination a couple of hours later.


To correct this problem, I got him a Master Lock Set Your Own Combination Padlock. It lets him create a combination that is easy to memorize. Best of all, it is easy to reset if he forgets the combination.

I also like that the lock is strong and secure. It features a 1-1/2in (40mm) wide metal body for strength and durability. The 1/4in (6mm) diameter shackle is 15/16in (23mm) long and made of hardened steel, offering extra resistance to cutting and sawing. The Limited Lifetime Warranty provides peace of mind from a brand you can trust.

After my son ad finally memorized the combination, my daughter spent a good amount of time showing him how to quickly open the lock. My son continues to master the combination lock and I’m confident that he will be ready when school starts in a few weeks. Thanks to his sister’s help, he’s feeling more secure about his first day in Middle School.

Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: Do your kids have any anxieties about the new school year?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Master Live Secure Safety Squad. All opinions are my own.


About author

Frederick J. Goodall

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