How do your help your child be real?
Someone once told me that you should always say exactly what you think and feel, but that you shouldn’t always say everything you think and feel. Let’s face it… Junior High is hard! It’s a time when feelings seem more important than facts and everyday can feel like an emotional roller-coaster. We want our students to learn how to be authentic Christ followers and not wear a mask. But how do they do that in the midst of figuring out who they are? What does it mean for a teenager to be real? Well that’s what we are talking about in chapel this week on the student end of things. In the meantime, let me throw out some ideas for you as a parent as you walk through life with a Junior Higher. How can you help them best as they find themselves and their identity?
Mentor: Surround your kids with adults who will love them and care for them just as they are! Kids need mentors who will pour the truth of God’s Word into their lives. They need people (a lot of them) who are role models and people who can lend a listening ear. In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul reminds Timothy about the great mentors he had in his faith.
Discuss: Talk to your children about their decisions and friends. When it seems like they do things that don’t add up, try to talk about their heart and motivations. Deuteronomy 6 paints a picture of parents talking to their children and teaching them God’s law all day long. Look for the opportunities.
Pray: Ask your child how you can be praying for them. Take advantage of times in the car when you can turn off the radio and check in. Model what it looks like to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Read Scripture: This is a time when kids are very close to the heart of God. Junior High kids learn and connect to God through experience. Read scripture together and help them see what God thinks about them and how he wants them to live. Psalm 119:66 says, “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.”
Discipline: As much as a brand new teenager looks and sounds a little more adult-like… they are still a kid. That prefrontal cortex isn’t fully formed yet and they don’t always connect their actions to potential consequences. Proverbs 3:12 says, “the LORD disciplines those he loves.” Kids don’t learn from their experiences or mistakes unless they have the proper time and a framework to reflect on that experience. Every moment of discipline is an opportunity for your child to learn to be more like Jesus.
Coming Up in Chapel
As always, parents are welcome to attend our chapels. Our Junior High chapels are on Fridays in the Venue at 8:25 a.m.
October 18 – Scott Elliott: Be Real
October 25 – Hadji Henderson: The Prayer of Moses
October 30 – Gretchen Miller: The Prayer of Hannah
So far in this series we have looked at being responsible and being reverent. Here’s a video of last week’s chapel message.