ADVANCE, MO (KFVS) - Moms are the most stressed when their kids are middle-school aged, according to a new study.
Some moms are calling middle school the "new high school," saying their pre-teens are dealing with a lot more at an earlier age. That means more stress for parents as they try to help.
Being a middle-schooler isn't always easy. There's peer pressure, hormones and trying to find the balance between kid and young adult.
"There's a battle between how much help do you give them and how much independence do they deserve or how much do you give them?" Jennifer Welch, mother of a sixth-grader, said.
Being a mom of a middle-schooler is tough, too. Welch is also a sixth grade teacher and wasn't surprised to hear a recent study from Arizona State University shows moms with pre-teens and young teens are the most stressed.
"We go from one mood to an extreme change of mood," Welch said. "We might be happy with mom at one point, and not so happy."
While navigating this phase, experts say it will help both mom and child if parents try to see the world from their kids' eyes.
"For any parents I think communication is key," Advance School Counselor Julie Harrison said.
Harrison said while middle-schoolers may think they're mature enough for certain experiences and decisions, it's important for the parent to decide when they really are.
"Talk to them about making good decisions, good choices, hanging out with people who are good influences on them," Harrison said.
Also, no matter how much they act grown up, they still need time to be kids.
"It's a balance of love and support," Harrison said.
It may be a difficult time, but moms say it's all part of growing up.
"I try to do the best I can and, we'll make it through," Welch said. "Go with those mom instincts."
Here's some more tips to help moms lower that stress level:
- Learn how to listen to your middle-schooler and gradually become more neutral in responses.
- Take their problems seriously and, as Harrison said, always support them.
- Reach out to other moms of middle-schoolers for support.
- Leave them time to be kids. Make time for just you and them, apart from distractions