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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tips on Raising Middle Schoolers

Ok, so that beautiful little cooing baby that you held just five minutes ago has grown up to be a middle-schooler. Those little rosy cheeks that were once irresistible to squeeze are now speckled with acne.

Remember when they were a toddler and their squeals would lead us to say things like, “oh my, he’s found his voice.” And now staring eye to eye, they argue with us and we think, “oh good gravy, he's found his voice.”

Raising kids reminds me a little of that show Wipe Out. It’s a muddy obstacle course that requires you to jump across giant slippery balls.

Yup, I’d say it’s pretty much exactly like motherhood.

But don’t lose heart moms, we can do this. Here are a few tips to help us navigate this exhausting wonderful time of transition in our child’s life.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Moms, we will have plenty of major things in life to lose sleep over, don’t give it up for the little things. Pick your battles wisely. Remember, these kids have hormones and emotions that are spinning wildly inside of them and they might just need us to let them vent a bit.

2. Be careful to be encouraging and not critical. They are hearing critical words all the time, let your words be filled with hope and not criticism. This may take some creative thinking on your part at times, but you’re a MOM, you can do this! Build up instead of tear down, even when we see things that put us on the shady side of crazy.

3. Don’t talk too much! I raise my hand as a guilty party here. I can get rambling and before I know it all that my kids are hearing is white noise. Stop the lectures, they tune us out anyway, why waste the breath. Do speak, but not too much…try to find the balance or you’ll end up like this.

The most important thing to remember is that our kids need us. They need us on their side, fighting FOR them in this world not against them.

God has given us an incredible job, and He really does know what He’s doing. You ARE cut out for this…quite perfectly in fact.

I'd love to hear what things have helped you navigate these precious years.

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