Right in the Middle
“Excellent, fabulous conference! I had the best talk of my life with my daughter on the way home!” – Charlotte, NC
“We both loved it and have had some amazing conversations since, all which stemmed from what we learned during our time together that Sunday. I highly recommend any mom and growing girl of middle school age to make time for this! The book is a must-read as well!” – Raleigh, NC
A conference for girls going into middle school and their moms to help celebrate and prepare for the transition to middle school
If your daughter is a rising 6th or 7th grader (or 5th if your middle school starts this year) Right in the Middle, a special mother-daughter mini-conference, is the starting place to make the most out of her middle school years.
Lessons distilled from Michelle Icard’s book, Middle School Makeover, and her award-winning social leadership student programs come together in the Right in the Middle parent and student conference that’s all about preparation, communication, and fun!
Why do I need to prepare for middle school?
Middle school is a big deal! This is the time in a girl’s life when she begins to form a lasting sense of who she is in the world. Don’t most of us women remember our friendships, social blunders, and heartaches from middle school like it was yesterday? There are forces at work that can fill a middle school girl with doubt, particularly the media and her peers. But moms have more impact than they think in keeping those at bay. Right in the Middle is a golden opportunity for moms to help their daughters find and keep a strong sense of identity, self-worth, joy, and community through the middle school years.
How does this conference help?
The greatest tool in any transition is having the language to know how to communicate through it and the familiarity to do so. If we aren’t careful as parents, we can begin to feel foreign to our kids in their middle school years. The gift of Right in the Middle is that mothers and daughters will be given a passport for the journey. They’ll learn what to expect, be given a common language, and become sensitive to what the other is thinking and why.
Who should attend?
The conference is for girls headed into middle school. Usually that’s rising 6th grade, although it may vary by school. Some moms want to bring their daughters because they got off to a rocky start in middle school. It’s great to bring a girl who’s already in middle school to help in resetting your experiences, just know the language of the day is about “starting” middle so give your older girl a heads up not to worry about that!
Some girls come with grandmothers, aunts, or a family friend. We love this! We ask that each girl is accompanied by one special woman in her life (except in the case of twins where one mom would bring two daughters).
But, is it fun?
Yes! Your daughter may not believe you at first, but she’ll be glad she came with you! We have prizes, music, interactive programming and a crew of enthusiastic high school girls sharing tips, memories and embarrassing moments from their middle school experiences.
I see the girls come into the room at first scared, annoyed, and a little nervous. By the end of the event, I see the girls reaching out to hold their mom’s hands, play with their hair, or leaning in for a cuddle. It always moves me!
What is the programming?
The Middle School Identity
Presented by Michelle Icard
Kids change at a variety of rates and speeds in middle school, but one thing’s for sure: the change is constant and unavoidable. And thats a good thing! Mood swings and impulsivity may not be your favorite part of adolescence, but they’re an important part of every middle schooler’s personal construction project. Your daughter is building her adult self, and while that can be a long, turbulent ride, it’s also full of exciting opportunities for mom and daughter to laugh and bond. I’ll talk you through what’s happening socially in the new middle school landscape and how it affects a developing identity and brain. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to working through real middle school social scenarios together.
Presented by Rosie Molinary or Stephanie Zerwas
In middle school, a girl’s sense of identity and self-worth begin to crystallize and she’ll hear many voices telling her how she should look and behave. This interactive workshop reveals the extent of our use of media and its impact, exposes the amount of image alteration that occurs in the media, discourages girls from comparing themselves to others, and challenges participants to be wiser consumers of media. Participants will leave with a powerful new understanding of how the media works, the way market forces motivate what we are shown, and what they can do about it.
Friends and Frenemies
Are we friends, frenemies, or somewhere in between? Middle school friendships can be fun, outrageous, complicated, and messy. As a mom, it can be tricky for you to know when to “step in” and when to “step out” of your daughter’s friendship drama. In a special breakout just for girls, the girls will devise a personal plan for responding to criticism from friends and frenemies both. Then we’ll meet up with the moms to share the girls’ favorite To Do’s and To Don’ts on how moms and daughters can navigate this new landscape together.
Expert Panel Q & A
Moms will have the opportunity to ask questions (while their daughters are in a breakout session) about what really happens in middle school today and how to handle those tricky parenting moments.
Social Media Tips
A presentation by Michelle and a true social media expert (of course, who could more of an expert than a high school girl?) on the benefits and potential pitfalls of social media. We will share tips for moms and girls around social media and the popular app Instagram, as well as fun ideas for taking and sharing photos that convey a well-rounded, long-lasting image to the world!