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Not Much Just Chillin'24:51
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photoIf you're the parent of a child between the ages of 12 and 15, decoding what makes your "tween" tick could be your biggest challenge and, at times, worst nightmare. That baby bundle of joy is now swathed in raging hormones, angst and palpitating fear that you will embarrass him in front of friends.

So, what's really going on behind the braces and bravado? Writer Linda Perlstein went back to middle school to find out. The education reporter for the Washington Times spent a year at Wild Lakes Middle School in suburban Maryland, talking, listening, and instant-messaging. She has written a new book about the experience titled "Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers."

Click the "Listen" link to hear about the complex lives of middle schoolers and the challenges of understanding them.

Guests:

Linda Perlstein, education reporter for The Washington Post, author of "Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers"

"Mia", middle school student

Brenda Thomas, principal at Wilde Lakes Middle School in Columbia, Maryland.

This program aired on September 25, 2003.

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