What Can I Do When I Get Frustrated With My Middle School Student?

By: Debra Eckerman Pitton, Ph.D. and Kelly Quinn

[Part of the "Q & A for Parents of Middle School Students" series]

As a young person moves into the middle school years, their emotional , physical and mental development, coupled with their emerging independence, often creates conflict between the parent and child. In particular, working through school related issues can be frustrating for parents and students. Remember that your child is not yet fully mature, and you need to be the one in control so you can help them learn to manage their frustration. When you talk about school work, grades, friends or after school activities, remember that they have their own opinions about things. Listening to them is very important, as your child wants to be heard. While you see their inexperience and youth, they are feeling more and more grown up and want to be taken seriously. Here are a few ideas to help alleviate the feelings of frustration for both you and your child and hopefully prevent things from building up into a big explosion.


Cline, F. & Fay, J. (1992). Parenting teens with love & logic. Colorado Springs, CO: Pinon Press.

Debra Eckerman Pitton, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Middle Level Education at Gustaus Adolphus College in St. Peter , MN and consults with school districts across the country on issues of mentoring and middle school education. dpitton@gac.edu

Kelly Quinn is a senior education major at Gustaus Adolphus College and will be graduating in May, 2005 with an elementary and middle school teaching license. kquinn@gac.edu

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