• Every middle school student has basic needs that must be met before they can flourish in the classroom. They are:

    Survival: They need to be fed, clothed, and free from abuse. - Love and affection: They may push parents away, but keep hugging anyway. There's an old saying among veteran parents: "If you don't hug your child, someone else will."

    Control: They need to be able to control some aspects of their life. Indeed, girls with eating disorders who get help are often found to have little control over much beyond their weight. Parents, boyfriends, teachers, etc. call the shots-- what to study, what to wear, career goals...

    Inclusion: They must be a part of the whole. That means asking them to do chores around the house. Other family members realize that their role is vital to the functioning of the household. Beyond that, they may contribute to volunteer efforts at church, the community, and so forth.

    Confidence: They must have some redeeming skill or talent, and others must recognize and celebrate that talent. Those who work with at-risk youth have found that generally, boys must have 3 male role models who support that at risk youth, for him to be successful.