LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 ways to prepare kids for middle school.

All month long we’re helping you get your kids ready for the upcoming school year – and now we’re talking about middle-schoolers. Big changes will take place for your kids at this stage — mentally, physically, and socially. Mentally, because middle school students, especially if this is their first year, will get into a different learning format, most notably, having multiple teachers who specialize in certain educational subjects, like language and math. Physical changes are in full effect, especially for boys, as the process of puberty hits high gear. Peer pressure also becomes noticeable, with maybe for the first time, your kids listening and following the advice from their friends rather than you.

Here are 6 steps to prepare your child for changes in middle school:

*Talk about the upcoming changes. Make sure your kid knows what to expect, and ways to handle them.

*Tour the school building to familiarize the family with the facility

*Get the class schedule early and review it together. This will help ease the transition.

*Establish a solid daily routine at home. This should include bedtime, wake-up time, homework, and screen time rules.

*Get hygienic. Start a focused effort for your kids to do things like taking daily showers, brush their teeth, and use deodorant.

*Offer reassurance. Help your kids know they have your support.

Adjusting to a new school routine is a process, but growth development experts say, as long as you prepare a little beforehand, students and parents can be successful.