Archives for September 2012

Friday Links 9/7

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

A Quantum Leap: From Preteen to Student by GG Mathis

First day of sixth grade


Depending on the age-grouping plan at your church, your preteen may be on the brink of an astronomical jump from a self-contained children’s area to the “great big black hole”  of the youth/student area. If the thought of throwing your tiny sixth grader into a middle school department with eighth graders the size of Jupiter makes you queasy, know you aren’t alone! 

Here is a handful of hints to help launch your preteen successfully into your church’s youth/student ministry: 
Be familiar. Well before transition time, get acquainted with your student pastor. Check your church calendar for upcoming youth events, especially those engineered for middle school or junior high. Find out who will be teaching your preteen, introduce yourself, and don’t be embarrassed to ask what happens on a typical Sunday. (Familiarity with upcoming events will help you set boundaries for activities, such as no-sleep lock-ins, that your preteen may not be physically ready for.) 
Be positive. Once you know what’s happening “up on the youth floor,” talk it up to your preteen. Preview upcoming activities with a “Hey! Guess what you get to do!” point of view. Make a special effort to include your preteen and your family in the first get-acquainted fellowships of the year. 
Be available. Volunteer to assist at events, bring goodies, or—they’ll love you for this one—teach a Bible study class! Your student leaders will love you for it. Even if you aren’t teaching your preteen’s grade or group, your participation and availability can help him feel a little less alien when surrounded by older students.  
Be in prayer. Your preteen is in for a wild ride over the next few years. Physical, spiritual, and emotional challenges will assault her at astronomical speed. Your church’s student ministry can be a docking station for her to connect with Christian peers, caring adults, and her loving Heavenly Father. Pray for the student ministry staff and volunteers who will serve as “mission control.”


GG Mathis loves her family, writing, kids (especially preteens), and tea! She is a mom and wife in Joplin, Missouri, when her family endured the deadly tornado that wrecked their town in 2011.


LifeWay is MORE than excited about our new curriculum for preteens, FLYTE.  If you’re looking for some great topics to touch on with your preteen group, go watch this video and then consider learning some more about FLYTE. 


Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.

Real Life Solutions: ADHD


We are proud to have Dr. Linda Mintle in ParentLife each month answering questions submitted from readers. To submit a question for Dr. Mintle, e-mail it to and include "? for Dr. Mintle" on the subject line. This month we have an extra Q&A from Dr. Mintle we wanted to share.

Q: My 9-year-old child has been diagnosed with ADHD. How do I talk to him about this? 

A: Be honest. Most children struggle with ADHD before it is diagnosed and need an explanation. Keep the explanation simple and developmentally appropriate. 
You can explain that ADHD is like someone who has difficulty seeing and needs eye glasses to focus. Treatment is like getting those glasses. Or you may explain that it is like your brain is a speeding train and needs to slow down. 
Some parents use examples of volcanoes, super heroes, robots―all things that need extra control for their intense energy. Be positive and don’t use shaming language such as bad, deficit, weird, special, hyper, or mental. 
Help your son understand that this is a condition that needs to be managed and is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior. Don’t label your child or expect problem behavior because of the disorder. Your child can be live happily and successfully with ADHD. 
The diagnosis will help you work effectively with him to bring out his gifts and talents and decrease frustration. He is wired a little differently, but those differences make him uniquely him—who God made him to be. Your attitudes and expectations will influence his, so stay positive and encouraging. 


Girls of Grace Conference Celebrates 10 Years


Girls of Grace: The Beautiful Truth” hits Eden Prairie, MN, on September 22 at Grace Church. The conference is an interactive high-energy event for teenage girls (6th – 12th grade) with live music and speakers that focus on common age-related issues with a positive Christian message. Tickets are available now through September 21 for $49 and at the door for $65.

“At times girls feel like they are the only ones who struggle with certain issues,” said Point of Grace’s Denise Jones.  “With a Girls of Grace Conference it gives them the opportunity to come together in a large group and realize that we all have our own struggles, and yet, we are in this together.”

The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and includes a full day of live music and guest speakers. Recording artists Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets, and Meredith Andrews are set to perform. The day also features renowned guest speakers including celebrity stylist Amber Lehman, inspirational author Annie Downs, FINDINGbalance (a Christian non-profit company with an emphasis on eating and body image) Founder and CEO Constance Rhodes, Youth Speaker and Director of Student Initiatives at Show Hope Chris Wheeler and Girl’s Director at WinShape Camps and daughter of Chick-fil-A founder, Trudy Cathy White.

Girls of Grace will be celebrating their 10th anniversary during the whole 2012-2013 season of conferences, but this kick-off is the main event. 

For more information on this and other upcoming events, check out the GIrls of Grace Web site or their Facebook page.


Candy Making for Kids WINNER!

The winner of our Candy Making for Kids giveaway is commenter #3, Bethany. Congratulations! We’ll be in touch with you shortly. 


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