Talking to a middle schooler takes practice and patience. Face it, they probably know more than you, at least more of the lingo, and picking your battles is an art form. If your middle schooler is anything like mine, they can go from on top of the world to a weeping puddle without any hint as to why.
Rejection is something they deal with daily and it is amped up by the onslaught of hormones. A misplaced glanced, an unkind word or being overlooked can send them tailspinning into feelings of worthlessness.
It takes a little extra care during these years and a good amount of intentionality to teach your kids how much they are worth. Kids need to hear over and over again from you that they are loved and that you are available to listen.
Fearfully and wonderfully made
The Bible tells us in Psalms 139:14 that we are each “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God knew us before we were even born. Your child has a God-given purpose. Getting him or her to see that may be the tricky part.
Find ways to communicate his/her worth daily. Here’s a few suggestions (yes they may find them corny, but you breathe and get an eye roll so who cares, do it anyway):
Write out Psalms 139:14, Jeremiah 1:5, Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:6, and 2 Timothy 2:1 on sticky notes and place a new one on their bathroom mirror each morning.
Make an effort to tell your child daily something you noticed that made you proud. It could be as simple as, “Thank you for putting your dish in the sink, that was really helpful.” Find the one thing and point it out.
Brag about your kid when you know he/she is in ear shot.
Listen. Don’t be too quick to jump in and fix the situation. Instead, hear them out and ask how it made them feel or what they think they should do about it. Guide them in making their own choices.
Figure out your kid’s love language and then start speaking worth in a way that is understood.
You and your child were made for a purpose. Demonstrate that purpose in the way you live your life and in the words that you say. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
One of the best ways to get your kid to see that their worth is in God, is to show them that everyone’s is valued by God. We learn this through service. Schedule a time where you can Serve Our City together.
Talk to your kids
If you don’t check in, you don’t know where they are at emotionally. Keep communication open by talking to them. Share your day. Model what it looks like to have healthy conversations. Let them know you are available when they need you.
Our views of God are often shaped by our relationship with our parents. That’s a heavy responsibility. Knowing that you see their worth, are a safe place to run to, and love them unconditionally will help them see God in the same light.
Bring your kid to Velocity. We meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. and will love on them exactly as they are, beautifully and wonderfully made.
Read this article Why Us? Because Depression, Addiction and Suicide are not Selective.
Make sure you check in with your kid regularly to remind them where their true worth can be found.