There are few things as confusing and stressful as raising middle school students.
Most days it seems like working heavy machinery is more responsive than trying to have a conversation with your teenager after school!
This phase of early adolescence, typically ages 10 – 14 years old, is a black hole of emotions, frustrations, and bodily changes. New topics such as dating and technology come into the picture and shake the parent-child dynamic like never before.
With so many questions, frustrations, changes, and emotions that families with middle school students are now experiencing, it is important for student ministries to know what questions parents are asking. There is great danger in answering irrelevant questions but immense power when we connect families with the relevancy of the Gospel. Our desire is to show parents and students that the Gospel answers their questions.
So, what questions are parents asking each week? I understand that they are not emailing you each with this a list of questions they have had over the past three days.
Do not mistake a lack of emails for a lack of questions.
The parents in your ministry are asking these questions on a weekly basis. How can your team or small group encourage parents and equip them to lead well during the middle school years?
Here are 20 questions every middle school parent is asking:
Questions About Dating:
“When do I need to talk to my student about sex and dating?”
“When will I know that my student is mature enough to start dating?”
“My student is already dating. How do I navigate this?”
“How can I talk about godly relationships when I’m divorced?”
Questions About Technology:
“What apps do I need to make sure that my student avoids?”
“When should I purchase a cell phone for my student?”
“My student is addicted to video games. How do I help him?”
“How should I monitor and control my student’s cell phone usage?”
“How should I monitor and control my student’s use of the wireless and movies in our home?
Questions About Friendships:
“How should we respond if our student is bullied?”
“My child is an introvert and doesn’t like groups. What do I need to say to get him to attend the student ministry?”
“What are the signs of teenage depression?”
“How can we encourage our students to build healthy friendships?”
“We want to be involved in our student’s life. How can we be involved without being weird or too intrusive?”
“Is my student normal?”
Questions About Faith:
“Our student hasn’t committed her life to Jesus yet. What is she waiting on?”
“My student doesn’t want to attend church service. Can you make it more exciting?”
“What do family devotions look like for families with teenagers?”
“I want to purchase a teen Bible for my student. What are some great options?”
“My student is overcommitted with sports, school, and activities. How do I help them maintain a connection to church while honoring other important commitments?”
What questions and categories would you add to the list?
CHASE SNYDER is the founder of MINISTRYBUBBLE.COM and serves as a Family Pastor in Knoxville, Tenn. He seeks to live a life that glorifies God and disciples others through their day-to-day lives, and his passion is equipping those in the church to seek those who are outside of it. Check out his writing at MINISTRY BUBBLE or connect with him on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or INSTAGRAM.