7th Grade Revolution: Asserting Independence

Middle School is such an interesting time of self-discovery and stretching boundaries, which is part of the reason I am drawn to writing this age group. By this age many are beginning to assert their independence of who they are apart from their identity and role in the family. The opinions of their peers becomes more important than the opinions of family and in some cases kids go in the opposite direction from what their family wants them to do. It’s tough for parents who have their child’s best interests at heart, but what they want for their child may not be what the child wants.

James is faced with a dilemma when he is nominated to be one of the leaders of the bloodless revolution. Because he was normally one of the most easy-going of the group, his classmates were baffled. His action here causes Dennis to question his loyalty to the cause after the school had been evacuated. From 7th Grade Revolution:

Surrounded by girls, James Marshall frowned and shook his head. Danielle clutched his arm, talking a mile a minute, but he shook her hand off, strode away from the group, and marched to the board. Fingers curled into a fist, he used the side of his hand to erase his name from under the Greene room. He scowled at the board for a moment, then wiped the marker dust on his pant leg and left the room.

I remember making decisions going into my teen years based on how many people wanted me to follow a course of action, whether peers or parents … and I’d go the opposite direction with predictable results. I wanted to assert my independence to show the world who I was — even if I didn’t really know who that was at the time.

Bonus points to anyone who can say why the breakout rooms were named Morgan, Greene, Connelly, and McDowell

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