We are so pleased to introduce the newest member of the Faith Family - Esther! Esther is a two month old Goldendoodle. She will begin working full time at Faith during the 2018-2019 school year but will be a regular visitor to campus during this training year. I’d like to take a moment to share more information about Esther, how she was “hired”, and what her role at Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School will look like.
Adulting. Failure to launch. Safe spaces. Microaggressions. Snowflakes.
A host of new terms has entered the vernacular to describe the actions, attitudes, and responses of Millennials and adolescents today. Why are we seeing such a phenomenon? More importantly, how can we raise strong, resilient, and independent adolescents who grow into well-adjusted adults?
As a parent, the most frequent point of contention I have with my teen and tween is homework. As a school counselor, it is a frequent concern voiced by parents. Homework can quickly become a power struggle, turning kitchen tables into battlefields and consuming family time in the evenings. While there is no easy rule for how many minutes of homework a child “should” have each night, and some nights will have more homework than others, there are ways to help ease the burden.
With so many opportunities out there to compete in club sports all year long at a young age, many kids are specializing in a single sport. Questions continue to arise about whether or not specialization is good for kids, especially as it relates to the age of the student. Parents that have kids involved in sports at a young age will undoubtedly have choices to make regarding how much their kids will focus on a particular sport or whether they will participate in multiple athletic activities.
As we read in Part 1, childhood has changed. Our kids live in a world that is more visible and transparent than ever. As parents the choices we made as kids were usually private and undocumented. However, our children are living in a society where everything is filmed, watched, documented and shared. In Part 2, we will discuss how our child's digital world can and will have a direct impact on their physical world and what parents can do.
Raising digital teenagers is hard work especially when today’s parents did not grow up with the internet. As a school counselor and a mom, I often hear that this leaves parents feeling they are ill equipped to cross the bridge between their experiences and the digital childhood of their offspring. We live in an age of sexting, frightening online challenges, cyberbullying, and digital footprints which can follow middle schoolers to college. Less dramatic is the typical struggle over amount of screen time and how that time is spent. All of this leaves adults veering wildly between over-policing children or giving up supervision altogether. The question remains; how can we keep our kids educated and safe?
A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to Israel. One day while at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, a bus filled with Israeli soldiers from the Israeli Defense Forces pulled into the parking lot. I asked our tour guide what they were doing. He explained that soldiers are toured around the entire country so they learn the history, culture, beliefs, geography, and people of Israel. He quipped, “Too many soldiers go into battle, and they don’t know what they’re fighting for. We make sure that doesn’t happen in Israel.”
The trouble with middle school is that it is full of middle schoolers! Yes, middle school can be a time of awkwardness and self-doubt but it can also be a wonderful time of transformation toward independence. The amount of change, development and growth that happens during middle school is just as much as it was from birth to age three! Navigating this can be challenging for both teens and parents.