Jeff Henderson, lead pastor of Atlanta-area Gwinnett Church joins us to talk about how parenting boys during the middle school years, ages 11-14, is critical to establishing a sense of self-worth and confidence.
- Look for ways to encourage your child and tell them how much you believe in them.
- Pay attention to clues of God’s will in your child’s life and make them aware of those clues.
- Before the middle school years arrive, make mental notes of other adults you want to influence your child’s life.
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- The middle years, ages 11-14, is a critical time in a child’s life because according to research, he or she is growing up faster due to technology. Children are seeing and experiencing more — instead of learning life’s lessons from older siblings, they’re learning from Google and social media.
- If a parent lets this phase slip by without being intentional about it, they’ll see the effects during the high school years.
- Parents must be intentional to seize opportunities, create moments, and leverage conversations with their middle schoolers.
- If a son does not receive affirmation from his dad, he’ll grow up seeking affirmation in all of the wrong places.
- A young man can start living from their father’s affirmation instead of for their father’s affirmation. This creates a grounding force in a man’s life.
- When Jeff’s son, Cole, was a middle schooler, Jeff and his friend, David Salyers, created the Champion Tribes, a group-based program consisting of five to seven dads with sons between the ages of 11-14. The program exists to help fathers lean into this critical developmental stage, guiding fathers through important conversations about confidence, humility, financial freedom, etc. The program includes a Champion Kit, which includes gifts that reinforce important lessons, and an app.
- There needs to be a moment in time when a young man can look back on a time he received his father’s affirmation.
- You can improve the world one father and son at a time if fathers affirm their sons consistently.
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Jeff is co-founder of Champion Tribes and the Lead Pastor of Gwinnett Church, the most recent multi-campus locations of North Point Ministries. Prior to Gwinnett Church, Jeff served as the Lead Pastor of Buckhead Church, North Point’s first multi-site location. He spent 21 years in marketing, working most recently for Chick-fil-A, before beginning his roles with North Point Ministries. Jeff and his wife, Wendy have two children.
Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer, Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.
Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45. Read more from Carlos on his website – carloswhittaker.com
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