My son is in 8th grade right now, and the kid is just like me. So he always seems to be stressed out and worried. At the ripe old age of 13. I tell him to give himself grace. There are many things I wish I knew in 8th grade that I know now. That would have made my life easier back then.
But I didn’t know them. And my poor son doesn’t know them either, unless I tell him. And continue to tell him, until it gets into his head. So here are the things I wish I knew in 8th grade that I continue to tell my son over and over.
1. I will have two beautiful boys
I wanted to be a mom from a very young age. That was the only thing I was sure of in my life. When I was in junior high, I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t have kids. That I would never be good enough to be allowed to have babies. And that I wouldn’t be a good mother.
Now I have two boys that are amazing. And I feel so lucky to be their mama. And I think I am doing a pretty good job with them. Now, there are no guarantees that my son will have kids. But if he wants them, he will make a great daddy. And I tell him this, though I am hoping he waits at least ten or fifteen years.
2. Mistakes made in 8th grade are not the end all
When I would make a mistake in junior high. I was sure it was a catastrophe that would follow me around for the rest of my life. I was sure I would screw something up so bad that my life would be ruined. You know what, right now I can’t even remember a mistake I made in 8th grade. I know I made them, and I thought they were life ruining, but I can’t remember a single one.
Right now, my son forgot to sign up for 8th grade honor band. So he was not nominated, and obviously didn’t make it in. And he thinks this is the end of his life as he knows it. I’m pretty sure that not making it into 8th grade honor band will follow him around his entire life. And I tell him this everyday.
3. That 8th grade Math grade does not determine your life course
In junior high, I was obsessed with my grades. If I didn’t have an A in every subject, I would cry and moan and get so upset. I was sure that my life was over if I got a B on a math test. Oh my gosh, nobody cares. There is nobody that cares now what I got in math in 8th grade. I don’t even remember if I got a B in math in 8th grade.
My son, is just as obsessed with grades. I have had to talk him off the ledge a lot. And tell him nobody is going to care next week about a B he got on a test. I am understanding of how he feels, because that is how I felt. But I try to reiterate that it is not as important as he thinks it is.
4. The girl/boy you like in 8th grade is probably not who you are going to marry
Okay, I know that there are people who meet their significant other in 8th grade, and that is who they marry. But, this does not happen very often. The boy I liked in 8th grade is happily married to someone else with two boys of his own. And is not a person I would want to be married to. Thank goodness my life took a different path, and I found my husband.
My son feels the same way right now. He thinks that the girl he likes will never like him back. But it doesn’t matter, because I am pretty sure he will get over this girl. Just like I did.
5. Things I wish I knew in 8th grade is what’s important, will probably not be important later down the road
There were so many things in 8th grade that I thought were so important. What clothes I wore. Who my friends were. What grade I got on a test. But these things are not important at all now. I already talked about the grades, because I don’t even remember any of my grades from 8th grade. And they definitely didn’t affect the course of my life. And what I wore, well I can’t even think of a single thing I wore in 8th grade. It had a big impact at the time, but definitely not now.
I do try and remember what it was like in 8th grade when my son is talking about things. Like when he was crying because he upset one of his friends. In my adult mind, I was thinking that this will pass. That boys at this age just get hormonal and emotional. But to him this was a huge deal, so we talked through it. Since it was important to him. As far as I know him and this kid are still friends.
6. Puberty doesn’t last forever
I had so many crazy emotions in 8th grade and I had so many zits. And I was just a hot mess. At the time, I thought it would last forever. It didn’t. Well, at least I did learn to control my emotions a little better. We are still working on the zits!
My son is just getting into puberty with the big emotions, and the outbreaks on his face. I try to remember what it was like to just be so mad that you don’t know what to do with yourself. I try to be patient with him, because I know what that felt like. And I know that it will not last forever. None of it will last forever.
He will grow up. And none of these things will be something he remembers. But right now it is important. So, as a mom who was in 8th grade at one time. I talk him through all these things the best that I can.