My name is Chris Barnes. While MomTalk traditionally includes “conversations for, by and about mothers” of various aged children, I am happy to add my voice to this community as a dad. My wife and I are both public school educators. We live and work in Jacksonville, NC. I am a school administrator and my wife works with special needs children. We are both products of military families. We have three girls... or soon will. Our youngest is 3 and we have one on the way. Our oldest, Chan, just turned 13 and is a middle schooler (7th grade). Having a teenager in middle school and working with middle school aged students, I hope to be able to offer a perspective about parenting that is helpful to mothers… and fathers too here in Middleville! Back in the day we called it Junior High School… the school that was really a smaller or younger version of High School. For quite a while now we’ve called it “middle” school. I think “middle” school may be the better description of the age of the children if not the structure of the school itself. These kids, usually between the ages of 12 and 14, are really in the MIDDLE. No longer the little kids in the house. Not yet big enough to drive and be out and about on their own. Our middle school -aged children face a host of issues that are no different than when our parents and grandparents were early teens (puberty and body issues; the difficulty of relationships- teen to teen and teen to parent; goals and getting ready for the future). But they do face a set of really difficult challenges that my parents never faced (cyberbullying, texting and sexting, early and frequent exposure to destructive imagery related to sex, drugs, and alcohol; mental health issues; eating disorders…). With so many challenges, I appreciate the ability to read what other parents think about these issues at MomTalk and read what the experts say about related medical issues at O’Healthy . Middleville gives me an opportunity to discuss the challenges and triumphs of parenting a “middle” kid. With more than one child in the house, the things I write will be influenced by my experiences with all of my children and the children I work with on a daily basis.
April 2nd, 2014 Chris Barnes
My daughter Chan is a creative and inventive student. But I have noticed that when working in groups or hearing about the ideas from others, she tends to think that her own ideas aren’t quite as good. Certainly it would …
March 31st, 2014 Chris Barnes
I thought that my teen had the worst memory or was incredibly manipulative when dealing with me during adverse situations. Although both issues may be true, a couple of recent interactions with others has led me to believe that she …
March 29th, 2014 Chris Barnes
Like any good teen, mine finds that a few of the rules in her school are too restrictive. Recently she received a warning for a dress code violation and I think the school official was more than reasonable. Of course, …
March 27th, 2014 Chris Barnes
In my last posting, I shared a few thoughts about how my teen processes issues that receive worldwide attention. I have previously shared that even when teens don’t seem to be taking it in… they are. Even young kids pick …
March 25th, 2014 Chris Barnes
So many topics that I think of as teen-related are not so different from the issues faced by adults. While doing some practice driving, my teen shared some less than flattering feelings about the behaviors of a classmate.
Admittedly, if what …