School is a dress rehearsal for life

Braden Bell, a teacher and a writer, had been pondering what he’d do differently as his fifth (and final) child began middle school. He detailed his resolutions in a recent Washington Post piece, “To raise independent kids, treat middle school like a dress rehearsal for life.” Much of the insight, particularly this portion, is just as applicable for high school students.

“Middle school is a dress rehearsal. It’s almost always messy, and we worry that it foreshadows a disastrous future for our children. Meaning well, we jump in and initiate, fix and micromanage, telling ourselves we will stop when the child matures enough to take over. But middle school is supposed to be messy. It’s how kids mature. This means making lots of mistakes, then experiencing consequences just strong enough to be an incentive for correction, but not strong enough to damage a life.”