Once your kid enters high school, they start developing a sense of purpose — one they will likely use to navigate their future direction. This sense of purpose will guide them as they choose their community, the things they value, and what they plan to pursue. Talk about a big deal, right?
But in their quest to discover who they are and where they fit in the world, it’s often not without some challenges — and that’s putting it lightly — at home. And while the constant miscommunication, the attitudes, and the misunderstandings are hard for you, this is also a time when your high schooler is feeling pretty overwhelmed, too.
Behind it all, your teenager is asking a certain question right now, and it’s up to you to use your influence in the right way to answer those questions in the most loving and patient ways.
In the ninth grade, your kid is asking, “Where do I belong?” This is when they go searching for their tribe, for the people who just “get” them. So, they need to hear from you that you accept them, and that you’ll play your part to help them find where they belong.
In the tenth grade, your sophomore is asking, “Why should I believe?” and “Why can’t I?” Yes, they’re challenging limits big time right now, but it’s not without purpose. The best thing you can do right now is become a super listener and remind your kid you hear them and that you’re present.
Once your kid becomes a junior in high school, your eleventh grader is asking, “How can I matter?” They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. You can help nurture this by giving them consistent responsibility and guiding them to make their own decisions.
In the final year of high school, your senior is asking, “What will I do?” This is a pretty scary time for your kid — the big world you’ve been talking about all along is here and they’re not quite sure if they’re ready to brave it. What they need to hear from you is, “I love you today,” “We can handle tomorrow,” and “Let’s think together about your best next step.”
The final phase of parenting your school-aged kid is an important one, filled with all kinds of highs and lows. And while sometimes it’ll feel like it’s just too much to handle, just know that all of it is not without purpose and you are the exact parent your kid needs to make it through each of the phases they’ll face.
Original info and resources found at Parent Cue
The NextGen Ministry at MISSION Community Church is committed to partnering with parents and helping kids find and follow Jesus. From babies through high school, we strive to be a church “For Everyone”, creating environments where children and youth can belong even before they believe.