How to Navigate the Awkward Years

Let’s be real, middle school was (all-caps) AWKWARD. Between the braces (and for me, a bad perm) and hormones, it’s a wonder we survived. But can you believe it? We talked to someone on this week’s podcast who has made it her life’s work to help kids through these awkward years. Bless. 

Michelle Icard started tutoring middle schoolers after losing her job at Arthur Anderson during the financial crisis. She found herself very interested in the students’ social development. Michelle related to the students’ stories after her own less than positive middle school experience. Her new book, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen guides readers through the fourteen essential conversations parents need to have with their kids before they start high school. Also – her first book, Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years, is a primer for the social and emotional changes parents and kids navigate as they get older. 

A Botox Brow Can Help

On the podcast, Michelle told us we should have ‘botox brow’ with our kids. There was a study done showing the area of your brain that processes facial expressions and emotions is not fully developed for tweens and teens. A furrowed brow could mean that you’re interested or thinking about what your child is saying, but your child is probably interpreting it as anger. This could limit the communication between you both. By having a neutral forehead, you can better open the lines of communication. 

Listen to how Michelle helps us navigate the start of both middle and high school. What advice was most helpful to you? 

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