The better you know your kids, the better you will be able to lead them.
But here’s a problem. Your kids keep changing, which means their issues keep changing.

Your kids are navigating an important journey from childhood to adulthood.

So remember:

You are not raising children.
You are raising adults.

As a parent, you have to resist the temptation to fix your child’s problems and learn instead to respond in a way that helps them grow. It starts with understanding how to stay alert to what is actually happening at every phase and learning how to read the signs.

Since every phase of a kid’s life has unique challenges, you should become aware of the kind of questions that are asked at each phase.

Preschoolers tend to ask “AM I” questions.

Am I safe?
Am I okay?
Am I able?

Elementary-age kids tend to ask “DO I” questions.

Do I have your attention?
Do I have what it takes?
Do I have any friends?

As they move toward middle school, there is a shift in the nature of a child’s questions. They become more philosophical and relational.

Middle school students tend to ask questions like…

Who do I like?
Who am I?
Where do I belong?

During high school, the questions continue to shift from concrete to abstract, from black and white to various shades of gray.

Why should I believe?
How can I matter?
What will I do?

At the center of each question is the pronoun “I.” That’s because each of these questions reflects a part of a child’s developing identity. How you respond to these questions can shape who your son or daughter becomes. So don’t miss it.

This is an excerpt from Don’t Miss it by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy.