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

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

It’s a much different set of circumstances at this age, both academically and socially, and can be stressful for everyone if not prepared. There will be changes in the family routine, a much more challenging school workload, and anxiety caused by the unknown. So, here are 6 ways from experts from and — so you can feel prepared as a family when middle school starts:

*Talk about what’s scary. Experts say, don’t wait for your child to start the dialogue, talk with them about what they may be nervous or worried about when school starts.

*Go over the class schedule together, then visit the school and practice walking from class to class.

*Remind your child that you’re there to help. Child experts say, kids try to become independent in middle school, but that shouldn’t mean they’re on their own, so remind your child that you’re a team.

*Encourage social connections. Middle school can offer great opportunities to connect with others and try new things – so encourage your kids to not be shy.

*Help them prepare and handle friendship drama. Experts say friendships in middle school are unstable and always shifting, and that’s normal for this age group.

*Stay positive. Try your best to not talk negatively to your kid about how tough middle school will be, and instead, try to embrace it.