332. Middle School Superpowers with Phyllis Fagell

Middle school can be such a stressful experience for kids, their parents, and educators alike. It’s a time of change, pressure, and uncharted territory that can be extremely overwhelming. In this conversation, Emily Edlynn speaks with the author of Middle School Superpowers: Raising Resilient Tweens in Turbulent Times, Phyllis Fagell, who has crafted a science-backed and compassionate resource for parents and educators to support middle schoolers through the most challenging situations. You will learn why this particular age group has the capacity for remarkable growth and resilience and why adults should not be afraid of this stage of life—instead, concentrate on the strengths and skills that can be cultivated during it. We invite you to listen to this episode for actionable strategies and skills to help your tweens thrive and become more resilient in a world that can be chaotic and anxiety-inducing. From managing rejection, friendships, and self-regulating emotions to academic performance and recovering from setbacks, Phyllis’ advice is invaluable. 

Listen and Learn: 

  • What Phyllis enjoys most about working with and writing about the middle-school age group
  • Why Phyllis wrote a book to help parents better understand and support middle schoolers
  • Tips to help provide a foundation of security for kids in these chaotic and scary times
  • Common parenting concerns during middle school and how using different superpowers can help with such challenges 
  • How being a middle school counselor, writing about middle school, and being a parent at the same time has been a gift and a liability for Phyllis


About Phyllis Fagell 

Phyllis Fagell is a practicing school counselor, a psychotherapist who works with children and teens in private practice, and an author and journalist. She is the author of “MIDDLE SCHOOL MATTERS, The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond – and How Parents Can Help,” and her most recent book that we’re discussing today: “MIDDLE SCHOOL SUPERPOWERS, Raising Resilient Tweens in Turbulent Times.” Phyllis is a frequent contributor to publications such as The Washington Post and CNN, and her ideas have been shared in outlets including The New York Times, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, and The Atlantic. Phyllis has three children and lives in Bethesda, MD.

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Episode 332