It is troubling to me that I see a lot of kids struggling in middle school with the same issues my almost 19-year old daughter struggled with late in the high school years. There has been a fundamental shift to everything happening earlier in kids lives. Not just teenage pregnancies but drugs, sex, alcohol, and bullying. The full gambit of bad stuff now invades at the 6th grade level rather than waiting for that mythical high school experience.
That simply means we as parents have to educate ourselves even quicker to the culture and the issues at hand. We cannot leave those things to someone else. Even though I work with middle schoolers on a regular basis, I am not with them for the length of time to make the kind of impression on them they need. 4 hours a week just does not cut it. The world in which they live has changed. It is not the same as it was when we were in middle school, in fact, it is not the same as when my oldest daughter was in middle school 4 short years ago.
At times, I scratch my head and ask what happened. Then I remember, sin happens. No matter the age, it grabs a hold of our kids and will not let go. Parents, we must be on our knees in prayer for these kids. We must be prayer walking the schools. We must be praying with them at home and teaching them what is right from the Bible at home. It all starts at home. If our country is imploding, it is happening first in the home. No stable family, no consistent home life, a world full of busyness, and tweenage imagination are dangerous combinations. Do not abdicate your parental responsibilities to someone else. We make the time for soccer, baseball, golf, dancing lessons, school functions, and our own recreation...why not time to pray with our kids? Do you have time to teach them some Biblical principles? If you claim you do not have time, then do not be surprised by the problems you are dealing with years later.
I am no perfect role model myself. I have a long way to go but it is evident, as I have two more children creeping up on middle school age, that I have not done enough to prepare them for what is ahead. It is never too late to do what is right. Start afresh with your kids today.
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