I hate 8th grade. And I'm not talkin' about my own 8th grade experience (Coleman Middle School, 1978-'79, bad fashion year, bad hair year, bad self-esteem year). No, I'm talkin' about the fact that, for my own kids, 8th grade seems to be the year when their brains leave for vacation at an amusement park, their judgement gets left behind in the dust, "you're grounded" gets said so many times that my dogs start thinking that I've changed their names and come running and it's a toss-up as to whether that the kid is gonna make it to 9th grade...literally.
I know that it's no fun for my kids. They are trying to navigate the treacherous waters of middle school society in a leaky boat. Nothing on the elementary school scene prepares one for things like note-passing, pre-algebra and that teacher that really gives "zeroes" for not turning in homework. You make a bad choice, and suddenly, there are consequences: you lose your cell phone, your ability to hang out with a friend or you get dish duty for a week. (That's always the dreaded punishment in my house.) However, it's even less fun for the parents: who wants to have a grumpy 13 year old boy stuck at the house, moaning about nothing to do? Not me.
But Dear Husband and I keep at it. (Thank God, this is our last 8th grader.) Why? Because their brains come back, they start to realize that A+B=C every single time, and Mom & Dad WILL find out. Because, as much as I hate 8th grade (and I HATE 8th grade), I love my kid. I love my kid enough to get through 8th grade...again.