Below is a great article that we wanted to share with parents in our community and for those of you who aren’t…Welcome!
Our middle school students are being taught a series on Loving God and Loving Others. Part of the series will deal with the students realizing that they matter because God says they matter. Before they can love others (and realize they aren’t the center of the universe) they need to realize who God is and how much He loves them.
This article is a great way for parents to come alongside and help solidify the things they are learning! Enjoy!
Everyone wants to feel acceptance in their lives and there may be no other time in life where the pull to feel acceptance is as strong as the teenage years.
Justin Young, a motivational youth speaker puts it this way, “Acceptance is never more important than during the teen and preteen years – when they are clamoring, ever so awkwardly, toward adulthood and on their way to the summit of self-actualization (their true potential)” (http://www.pinkshoehero.org/2012/11/12/unconditional-acceptance/).
Which is why it is so important that our kids feel the acceptance they need from us primarily. But before addressing what acceptance may look like, let’s talk about what it is not. Acceptance of our students doesn’t mean approval of unwise choices. In Young’s article, “Change a Teen with Unconditional Acceptance”, it’s said this way: “Accepting a teenager unconditionally doesn’t mean you have to accept their reasoning, the premise of what they’re saying, their poor sense of judgement…But the simple act of showing them that you accept them for who they are, as a person – their weakness, strengths and all – is the first step to helping them build their own self-acceptance” (http://www.pinkshoehero.org/2012/11/12/unconditional-acceptance/).
So, how do we begin showing unconditional acceptance to our teenagers in actual, tangible ways?
How do we put our “I love you” in a language they can really understand?
TRY THIS: Social Scientists John DeFrain and Nick Stinnett asked 1,500 kids, “What do you think makes a family happy?”
What was their most frequent answer you ask…
Doing things together.
Spending time together communicates more than we realize. Here is a list of seven creative ways parents can demonstrate their love and acceptance to their children.
1. Plan to hang out with your student once a month – and let them choose the activity.
2. Kidnap them unexpectedly for a walk or a meal or an adventure!
3. Write something encouraging on a Post-it-note and stick it on their bedroom door.
4. Spend an hour listening to their favorite music or watching their favorite TV show with them.
5. Find something about your child’s appearance to compliment.
6. Do one of their chores for them.
7. Sit down with your child and start asking questions…and then listen to them.
Pick one, or all seven! Be intentional this week about showing your student that you love and accept them, just the way they are.
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.
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