To My Son as He Enters 8th Grade

This feels like the last year we have together before life shifts into high gear...

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: To My Son as He Enters 8th Grade

Written By: Amannda Maphies

This fall, my son will be venturing into 8th grade… the precursor to high school, the last year of middle school, the year that, to me, feels like the last year we truly have together before life shifts into high gear where he’ll be consumed by friends and a part-time job and homework and college applications and sports…

Honestly, high school seems like a whole new dimension. And, while I know my boy is quietly gearing up to leave middle school behind, this mama isn’t quite so ready.

I want one more year with my boy.

I want one more year to relish in his “little boyness” before he transitions into the young man he’s destined to become.

I want one more year to teach him those important life lessons before he pulls away further aching for independence.

I want one more year to soak up family time, immature and silly jokes, and a slightly less hectic schedule. 

I want one more year with my son right where he’s at…

To My Son as He Enters 8th Grade

 

So, to my son as he enters 8th grade, here are a few things your Mom wants you to remember about family, friends, and life. 

1. Know Who Your Friends Are

I truly hope everyone is kind to you, and you are kind in return. However, there is a difference between a true-blue friendship and an acquaintance. Someone who will go the extra mile with you versus someone who will desert you when you need them most. Please do not mistake the true-blue friends for the show-up-when-convenient friends.

Invest in those that invest in you. Choose friends who choose you. Relish those long-term childhood friendships but know that some may not last. Cherish friends who come into your life, if only for a season. Above all, keep your heart open to new friendships, and don’t get stuck in a “click.” Be a friend to all… it’s a big world out there. 

2. Take a Chance, Son!

Try the new sport, ask the girl you’re crushing on to the dance, join the debate team, or talk to the kid at the lunch table. It doesn’t matter what it is… just go for it! Put yourself out there! Take a freaking chance to discover a passion or interest you might have or perhaps something you don’t necessarily care for. Both are valuable lessons, son! And, please don’t let the fear of failure or rejection keep you from trying and doing and experiencing all that 8th grade has to offer. 

I know you’re apprehensive. I know it can be intimidating to try new things or talk to new people. But it gets harder to try new things when you get older, so please take advantage of your youth to be open to everything. Your older, adult self will thank you!

3. Remember, This is Your Time to Be Free and Have Fun

I truly want you to experience the wondrous feeling of “young love.” But please don’t become so consumed that you put all your time, attention, and emotion into one single relationship.

Enjoy your friends and your sports buddies. Hang out with the crowd, your classmates, your family, and yes, even your little brother at home who thinks you walk on water.

I understand your interest in girls is normal and healthy. I know you’re eager and curious. But please realize this is your time to have fun and be free. Those deep, emotional, heavy relationships will comein time. Please don’t be in a rush, son! 

Just ‘stay cool’… life will provide plenty of years to be serious, intense, and driven. In your last year of middle school. Please concentrate on having fun.

4. Spend a Little Extra Time with Your Parents

Son, I know high school is a whole different ballgame. You will learn how to drive. You will likely find a part-time job. You will be inundated with homework, sports, social events, college applications, future plans, friendships, and girls. Your time for family will be very limited.

Please take time this year, your last year before high school, to indulge in the lifelong relationships that shaped you. Those very close, intimate bonds with your parents, your grandparents, your siblings. Listen to their advice. Try to see their perspective. Spend simple moments together laughing, talking, and soaking up the closeness that has served as your foundation since you entered this world.

Even if you don’t necessarily enjoy hanging with fuddy-duddy ole’ mom and dad, maybe every now and then you could do it, for them. You may not see the value in it now. But trust me, while it may be the absolute last thing you wish to do, the time spent with your parents will never be a wasted regret. 

5. Stand On Your Own Two Feet… It’s How You’ll Learn to Become a Man

Please don’t convince yourself that everyone else has it all figured out… they don’t. And, don’t allow yourself to follow the crowd simply because it’s the path of least resistance. I promise you, far too many people have realized (too late) that following the crowd can lead to chaos, trouble, and difficult, “follow-you-forever” undesirable life lessons.

Please don’t let others think for you. I have confidence in you! You are so smart, son! If something feels “off” in that always-empty tummy of yours, it’s likely a warning to keep you safe. Listen to your gut! Don’t blindly follow the crowd. Don’t cave into peer pressure. Let your conscience and morals and maybe even the quiet whispers of my voice serve as your guide. It will, no doubt, keep you from the pitfalls and perils of trouble that can wreak havoc on your bright future. 

Son, as you venture into the last year of middle school, junior high, pre-high school, or whatever you wish to call it, please know that this is a pivotal year in your life. You may not realize it, but you have one foot firmly planted in your childhood and the other curiously stepping toward adulthood.

As your Mom, I want you to know that you can count on me to be your wingman this year. No matter what adventures, difficulties, wins, or losses you encounter, I will be there to encourage you, catch you when you fall, offer advice, or simply just listen.

Above all, please don’t be in a rush to abandon your youth. 

You have plenty of time and precious years ahead of you to experience being an independent young man in this world. Please, son, let’s vow to navigate this last year of middle school together and soak up every moment of your remaining youth – for your sake and perhaps for my sake, too. 

 

About Amannda Maphies:

Amannda works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, is a boy mom to Liam (13) and Waylan (11), and enjoys freelance writing based on her travels, life adventures, and pretty much anything that stands out as ‘story-worthy’Manndi contributes to several online and written publications varying in content from single motherhood, raising teens, biblical perspectives, and inspirational/overcoming stories based on her unique life journey. She also enjoys a slice of journalism, writing for two local publications: Ozarks Farm and Neighbor and Connections Magazine. Manndi is proud to be published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Believing in Angels (January 2022), and her first book was published in September 2022, Tales From My Mummy. Her writing is lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor. “Live a life worthy of writing about,” is her life motto, which she strives to emulate daily.

If you enjoyed reading, “To My Son as He Enters 8th Grade,” you might enjoy these posts, too!

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