Jesus often communicated with the 1st century community by using stories! Parables and Illustrations were often Jesus’ mode of captivating his audience and helping them understand what he was trying to communicate. Story is still a powerful method of teaching today. Think about the type of sermons on Sunday morning you enjoy listening to the most…very few of us like just having information spewed at us. However, when principles are embedded within story, we are not only captivated, but we understand better! This is even more critical with preteens. Preteens think more abstractly than their younger counterparts and are beginning to question their old Sunday school lessons. When we can teach those same principles (love your neighbor, obey your parents, etc.) within a story from scripture or our own life it starts to make more sense and allows them to see “why” it matters.
Stories from our own past are also a great way of connecting kids with their parents. Family Systems Theory invites children to learn more about their parents’ history and how they grew up as a way for children and adults to better understand how they function. As parents, you have an exciting opportunity to share your past using the power of story! Tell them about mistakes you made, successes you had, stories of their grandparents, or even stories from when you were their age. Don’t miss an amazing opportunity…tell stories!
No, date nights are not just for mom and dad! How often do you have a “date night” with your kids? Parents sometimes feel very disconnected from their preteens because in a rapidly changing world, these digital natives keep up while parents are feeling a bit left in the dust. Well here are 10 simple but fun things you could be doing with your preteen. All you need to do is…set a date!
- Play video games. Ok ok, I know, you have not played video games since the Nintendo (or even Atari?) years. Who cares, let your preteen smash you. Who knows…maybe you’ll like it!
- Go to a movie.
- Play them in a game of basketball…or whatever sport they prefer.
- Go out for ice cream.
- Give them a spending limit and head to your local Toys-R-Us. Buy something you can have fun with together.
- Go on a bike ride.
- Read a story.
- Take them to a baseball game.
- Go to the mall and have lunch at the food court.
- Play a board game (one of my favorites!).