Welcome, from Jake Niven!
Welcome to 5th-8th Grade Ministry, where voices crack, deodorant is optional, and loyalty is vital. Middle School ministry is unique and has the most radical changes in your kid’s life while they are under your roof.
THIS IS A PHASE YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS. This phase is where they identify who they are, who they hang with, and if they will have a relationship with you. I don’t want to scare you away but I personally want to offer you some resources during this journey we like to call Middle School.
If we haven’t met yet, my name is, Jake Niven, and I come from Charlotte, North Carolina. My middle school years were very far from easy. To start off I went to nine different schools in five different states in grades K-12. In Middle School alone I was in four different schools. I look back now and see how God is using my story to help parents and students today.
Check out some of the resources and articles below and continue to come back as I write more. E-mail me for a more in-depth conversation.
- Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent by Jonathan McKee
- The Smart Dad’s Guide to Daughters by Jess MacCallum and Dale Reeves
- The Space Between: A Parent's Guide to Teenage Development by Walt Mueller
- Boundaries with Teens by John Townsend
- It's Just a Phase--So Don't Miss It by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy
For Your Middle Schooler to Read:
- Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
- To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller
- The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel
- HomeWord: “Helping Families Succeed,” www.homeword.com, founded by Jim Burns
- "Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids" from psychologytoday.com
- Dr. Henry Cloud's parenting website: drcloud.com. It is fantastic for advice on parenting, relationships, happiness, and productivity. Here's one article that I recommend reading from his site: "Momsense: Letting Kids Learn from Mistakes."
- A YouTube video of Dr. Henry Cloud about going through seasons: CLICK HERE.
- Before you allow your child to get on social media, read THIS article.
- "Four Ways to Become a Better Dad" by Changed Through Faith Ministries.
- (NEW) Teenage suicide and depression are way up -- and so is smartphone use from The Washington Post.
Intentional Parenting by Doug Fields https://homeword.com/intentional-parenting-landing-page/
Parent Temperature Gauge
Middle School Parents: Do you find that your child is developing and changing at a super-fast speed these days? Do you ever wonder if he/she is headed in the right direction? Here are a few questions that you can discuss with your child. They will help you to gauge where your child is at, while guiding him/her toward growth in the future.
Here are a couple of good apps that I recommend:
- "Parent Cue" -- Track how much time you have spent with you kids! Be intentional about it.
- "Chore Monster" -- Help motivate your kids to be responsible. We tell them, "Responsibility leads to FREEDOM."