Milestone: Entering 7th Grade
Milestone: Entering 7th Grade
The time has come for your child to enter the official "junior high" years. Most likely, they will also be going to a new building or school. I'm sure this feels like you're starting all over again with your child in some ways, and you may be nervous... Will they earn good grades? Will have have good friendships? Will get get good teachers?
The first thing I want you to do before you read any further is to take a DEEP BREATH.
I'm sure you've realized by this point that your usually well-behaved child has started to not listen to you at times. Remember this ONE word: PURSUE. I know that you may be busy at work or taking care of your other children, but you have to create a margin in your life to pursue your 7th grader. If you don't, all of the things you wanted to teach them, the time you wanted to spend with them, how you wanted them to listen to you, will all be gone. Much of your child's time will be spent pursuing friendships, relationships, and popularity.
As they continue to pursue their identity, we need to be behind them the whole way, steering the ship. Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) says, "Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord." If you can consistently pursue your child and remind him/her that we are to live at peace with everyone, and living a holy life (while being that example), will get their attention.
I remember when my parents go divorced, and my mom tried so hard to be a good single parent. There were many frustrating moments for her while raising me, but I do remember one thing: she never gave up. My mother constantly pursued me. She put me into sports and many extra-curricular activities, but she never let anything get in the way of church. She made sure that even when I rolled my eyes and talked back that I needed to live at peace with everyone and live a holy life.
I want to remind you today that if we set a great foundation with our children, especially during this time of entering into junior high, that we can know God will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths, He will guide them; He will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things He will do; God will not forsake them (Isaiah 42:16).
Just as God pursues us, we MUST pursue our children if we want them to grow. So remember to take a deep breath today and pursue your child!
Suggestions for Pursuing Your Child:
- Go on adventures with them. Visit new places, take hikes, explore caves, go camping.
- Dream big with them and help them fulfill those dreams. This builds trust and loyalty.
- Take them out monthly to have some one-on-one time. Go out for breakfast, go to the local candy shop, take them out for ice-cream! (We offer BOGO cards for you and your child to get ice-cream together in the summer, so look for those!)
- Take time from a normal weeknight to be with them. Toss the ball, cook dinner together, play ping-pong.