I often speak of how Kim and I serve in the Middle School environment called “Transit,” because it is no secret that we have a passion for this age of youth and how we absolutely are blessed in walking with these kids through their most difficult times of their lives.
For the past month Kiersten has joined us in Transit and will be “doing life” with her very own small group leaders along with about 20 other 6th grade girls. Well today is her first day of school, and I had thought about having a nice little sit down with said leaders, just to give them a heads up as to what to expect from our darling little Kissy kiss.
Me not being a helicopter parent, I decided to just write a quick little letter to them.
Dear Small Group Leaders,
I am a father.
A father is who is entrusting the spiritual growth of my daughter.
Be thankful that I am writing you this letter, and not her mother. There are a few things you should know, before attempting to getting to know her. A few things that could possibly change the course of action you choose to take, when mentoring this eager soul, in helping win her heart for Jesus, and having a faith of her own.
I’ve included a small list of 10 guidelines below:
1) She IS special.
Yes, I am biased, but so is every parent out there. Along with her being special, so are her friends, and every other 6th grader in your group. 20 out of 20 fathers and mothers will agree.
2) She does NOT know it all
However she probably will tell you until she is blue in the face that she does. I on the other hand, do.
3)YOU do not know it all
I do not expect you to know it all, in fact I do not WANT you to know it all. Believe me, she will appreciate going down the journey of discovering life’s most difficult questions… together.
4)You have just been put in her “circle” of people she may text.
Yes she has a cell phone, many girls her age do. This is used to tell us when she gets home from school, or if she needs an emergency pickup from soccer practice. Should she receive or send texts from numbers outside of this “circle,” her phone will explode with blue ink that will stain her face for 2 years (the remainder of middle school). I would appreciate your encouragement to not call or text outside of said numbers.
5)She forgets how old she is sometimes, and often, so do we
The importance of remembering #2 on this list can not be emphasized any greater, and our little girl is still learning how to have that “faith of her own.” Please do not let her book smarts fool you into thinking that she does not need to hear The Story, as she may very well hear it differently coming from adults other than her parents. We’re counting on this.
6)She has a very special bond with her siblings
Her younger sister and baby brother are her absolute joys, which she will probably brag about every chance she gets. This is to be encouraged, as she may possibly not think of her parents as her most favorite people during *ahem* the big P.
7)She absolutely loves having an audience at her soccer games.
9)Friday nights are our family nights, and they are absolutely open to guests.
Should either of you ever want to come on her night, or any night for that matter, just know our house will always be open. Cover charge is coffee.
10)She wants YOU to be her heroes.
We both will be looking to you all to speak truth into her, and as we were both told from the beginning, you are not her mother or her friend, you are a Hero.
So there you have it.
As you probably already know from seeing us lead our 7th grade groups, we sometimes have absolutely no idea what we’re doing OTHER than loving on these kids…
…and this is the least we expect from you.
To learn more about parenting at different phases in your child’s life, please check out the Phase Guides: The Phase Guides are a byproduct of The Phase Project, which is a synthesis of personal experience, academic research, and gatherings of leaders and educational experts from across the child development spectrum. Created in partnership with Parent Cue, these guides are designed to help you parent your child through every year.
Also, here’s a blog post from Zoey Miller that talks All About Parenting and Parenting Styles.