Monday, February 15, 2016

Junior High Junction: Nurturing Relationships with Your Pre-Teens and Teens

My Full Heart: Junior High Junction
This week, I want to talk about ways to nurture the relationship you have with your junior high/middle school aged kids.

It's too easy to neglect the relationships with our pre-teens and teens - they are busy kids with friends of their own, their own hobbies, and a growing need for privacy and alone time. Scary how quickly they turn into little adults-in-the-making! As parents, we need to make sure our kids feel valued and appreciated as members of the family, as well as pave the way for a healthy relationship during the tumultuous and hormonal teen years. Here are some ways we can do this:

1.) Make time to talk with them! This seems obvious, but it is vital to any relationship. Even if it's just ten minutes at the end of the day, it matters! Allow them to talk without interrupting or giving advice {unless it's requested}. Pay attention to what they are saying, as well as what they aren't saying. Be trustworthy, non-judgmental, and approachable. Your child should feel that they can to you with any problem, big or small.

2.) Show interest in their life! If your child is into drawing comic books {like my son}, take the time to read the comic book. Laugh at the funny parts! If your child loves to make jewelry {like my daughter}, sit down and make a necklace with her, or ask her to make one for a neighbor or church member. When your child tells you a story, hang on to every word.  As you are browsing Pinterest, send your child a pin you think they would like.  

3.) Discover your child's love language! There are 5 different love languages - words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. More than likely, you already know your child's love language, and if you don't, it won't take long to figure it out. Make it a priority to speak their love language at least once a week.

4.) Perform small acts of kindness! It's the little things that really are the big things. Fix your teen a bowl of ice cream and take it to his room before bed. Buy or make a pretty book mark for her favorite book. Pick up a movie and popcorn to enjoy on the weekend. After running errands, stop for fries and a milkshake before heading home. Pick up her favorite scent of lotion or body wash when you go to the store.

5.) Pray together! Praying together as a family is so important. Make time to pray together with your teen, just you two. Ask if there is anything they would like prayer for. Thank God for what your teen means to you and the blessing they are in your life. When your teen hears this, it will make them grateful to have a parent who loves them enough to pray with them and for them.

What are some more ways we can nurture the relationship we have with our teens?

My Full Heart: Junior High Junction



  1. This is great! I think so many parents are more stand offish with their teens assuming that is what the teens prefer but more often than not they're just afraid to show us how much they still need us.

  2. This is a great list! Thank you.