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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Dealing with the pre-teen years and living to tell about it

You may know one of my biggest pet peeves by now...
People claiming that the poor behavior of their children is simply a stage.
A stage that everyone goes through, and so there is nothing they can do.

I hope that the next few minutes will help you realize something:

a. If your kids have not gotten to the pre-teen age yet, they don't automatically turn 12 and turn bad.

b. If your kids are currently in the pre-teen age, you don't have to feel out of control.

Basically what I want to encourage you with is some pretty simple stuff.
Communication, prioritizing God in your life and their life, and time management.

Sounds easy, right?

As you have probably noticed at this point if you have been following me for any length of time is that putting God first in your life is the most important thing.
You can not be super mom, no matter how hard you try.
A relationship with God keeps you grounded, steadfast and secure.

I will make it easy to follow and give you just three points.

1. Scripture Memory
One thing that is important to start early, as mentioned in yesterday's post about the toddler years, is implementing scripture memory.
When your kids have come to understand that their authority comes from God, it makes everything easier.
Really and truly.

I mean, let's face it. We want our kids to be respectful and God honoring when they are with us. Yes.
BUT - we want them to be the same when they are out of our sight, right?

Here are a few verses that I think are super important to have memorized during these years.

*1 Corinthians 9:27. I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should. 
This can apply to so many areas of life! Teaching them that God gives them the ability to control their mouth, their body, even their attitude- this is life changing.
Remind them...it's like training for a marathon. It takes hard work. So not only is it possible, it's required by God. Self - control, people. Get you some.
It affects how you spend money, how you eat, how you work, how you pray...how you everything!

*Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourself. -
Pretty self explanatory on this one, but you can use this for so many circumstances!
I love how God uses words like "nothing" and "always". I should do not one single thing out of a desire to gain something for myself. Wow...strong words, dontcha think God?

*1 Timothy 4:8 Physical training is of some value but godliness has value for all things. 
Exercise is important, but the most important thing of all? Godliness.
If you teach your kids this truth when they are 10? They will be able to fall back on it when they're 14 and feeling like their appearance is all that matters...whether it's the brand of clothes they wear, or what size their jeans are.
Godliness wins out people. Godliness wins out.

This list of verses is certainly not even close to comprehensive, but every kid is going to need different verses more than others and at different times in their lives.
We are commanded to study to show ourselves approved before God.
Study up on your kids. Then study up on giving them the right weapons they need to fight the things they battle!
If they struggle with fear? Find verses about fear and how God has not given them a spirit of fear!
If they struggle with complaining? Find verses that talk about doing everything without complaining!
If they struggle with anger? Find verses that talk about the dangers of anger.
Don't think you're going to cross your fingers, send your kids to church every once in a while and luck out.
Parenting is a privilege. An honor. And it is to be taken seriously

2.Communication. I know this sounds so obvious, but communication is so important, and so easy to just pass by without thinking about it.
When you start talking with them, asking questions, showing that you care about what they care about?
The relationship starts growing stronger.
It's important to keep current! Ask your kids on a regular basis if you have done anything to upset them! Give them the opportunity to share with you before it gets held on to and turns to bitterness. (This is important to remember with your hubby too!)
Communication includes not only asking them the hard things, but really communicating about everything.
I know pretty much everything I can know about legos.
I also willingly listen to AJ fill me in on the latest stats from his fantasy soccer team!
When you show that you care about the seemingly little things in their lives, they will be more willing to talk about the bigger things too.
Encourage questions!!! It's ok if they have a question that might seem harsh. Let them ask!
I would rather have them ask me why it doesn't seem like God hears their prayers, than to go through life wondering, and coming up to the wrong conclusion.

3. Time management.
Obviously, this is important in every area of life, but showing your kids that you are putting them above your busy schedule will affect them in a big way.
Plan some alone time with each of your kids at least once a month.
My boys still get so excited when we have our individual "dates"
It doesn't have to be something that costs a lot of money. Sometimes it's an ice cream cone at mcdonalds or a donut at dunkins. Maybe it could even be driving around at Christmas time and counting how many houses have lights up!
It's just the uninterrupted time with your child.
And for the love of Peter...put your phone away when you go!

This is such a fun time of life!
They really start thinking about deeper things.
You can have deep conversations.
They are fun to watch a movie with, or go shopping with, or just laugh with!

It does not have to be scary, horrible and deadly! HA!
Love this stage.
Love every stage.
Just love your life.

God gave you these precious kids...enjoy them.

1 comment:

  1. These three posts have been so great!!


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