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Monthly DGYM Calendar (PRINT)

Greetings, DGYM Parents!

Semester exams have come and gone... I hope that your students all did well getting through this past semester. Aside from the stress of school, January had some great times of thoughtful discussions and fun activities within our youth ministry. We had a great group from our congregation join with the 4th Street congregation for their monthly singing night, and we even enjoyed some coffee and cards together once we found a coffee shop open on a Sunday night. We had a packed van go with us to Spokane for Winterfest weekend, and we had fun hanging out together at our monthly SNL Devo. Thanks to the Kleins and their SaLT LIFEgroup for hosting us! Below you will find details for this month's activities along with an attached calendar of events. Take special notice that there are a couple of free local seminars coming up that may be especially enlightening for parents.

Looking forward to a fabulous February!

Jeff

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." (Galatians 6:9)


Picking Your Battles with Teenagers by Jonathan McKee

One of my daughters walked into the kitchen to find something to eat.

"I bought some of those rolls you like for your sandwiches." I offered.

"Why would I want a sugary roll for my sandwich?"

This is how many conversations can begin with my teenagers. They aren't defiant; they probably couldn't even be classified as back talking. They're just...argumentative.

"The sky sure is a pretty blue today."

"Actually, it's more of a purple."

Sigh.

That's what it felt like in the kitchen that day with my daughter.

"I thought you told me you'd like some rolls? These are those really good Hawaiian rolls." I offered.

She picked up the rolls and inspected them with disdain. "These are too many calories."

She didn't know what she was talking about. I had to decide whether to let it go, or jump into lawyer mode and show evidence to the contrary. I opted for lawyer mode.

"Actually, those are lower calories than two pieces of the bread. And they taste better.

She looks at the rolls again. "Yeah, but these are too small. Why would I want a sandwich that small?" She chuckled condescendingly.

Now I was mad. Just yesterday she told me she didn't want such large portions. She didn't make sense. She was arguing just to argue.

And that's when I realized I needed to just shut up and let it go. She wasn't arguing that she didn't want my bread. What she wanted was independence. She wanted to choose her food without anyone telling her what she should eat. My suggestion for bread was received as, "Eat a sandwich." Her retorts were saying, "I'll eat whatever the heck I want. I'm a big girl. Leave me alone."

It's hard raising older teens. They constantly are vying for independence.

Funny, I give my girls plenty of independence. But even 'sandwich selections' can be received as micromanagement.

Now that I have a senior in high school and two kids off in college, I'm finding it increasingly important to give them opportunities to make choices on their own. More importantly, I'm discovering it equally imperative to stop "sweating the small stuff." My daughter's snippety little banters aren't an all out rebellion... they're a reminder for space.

My friend recently asked me, "Jonathan, I've asked my daughter 13 times to put away her towels after she showers. We found like a dozen towels in the corner of her room yesterday because she refused to put them away. What should we do?"

As I heard this question, I couldn't help but put it in perspective. We had one of our kids really rebel growing up. So the first question I asked my friend was:
"Is she sneaking out of the house? Flunking algebra?"

"No. No. She's getting over a 4.0"

"Is she smoking pot in her room?"

He laughed and said, "No."

I smiled. "Then tell her since she likes to collect towels, it's time for her to do her own laundry. Show her once, and then let it go."
Five years ago I wouldn't have given that advice. But now that I've seen two of my kids go off to school and begin making choices on their own, I have grown increasingly confident I should have "let it go" more often, and given them both even more opportunities to learn lessons on their own.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying, "Allow your kids to disobey and talk smack."

If you tell your kid to put their towel away and they don't, then warn them, and if they keep doing it, find a natural consequence where they can learn that lesson themselves. But don't ground them for a week for a towel.

In the same way, if your kids are rude, feel free to tell them, "Hey, I don't mind if you want to make your own lunch. But don't be rude to me. I was trying to be nice and buy you the bread you liked." Correct their rudeness... and let it go. They'll respect you more for not dwelling on it.

Raising kids isn't easy. Raising young men and women is even harder. But try to remember how hard it is being that age. Today's teenagers are currently the most stressed age group. They're balancing a huge load, they're worried about the future... all this with raging hormones and an undeveloped brain.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Be happy when they want to make their own decisions, and be there for them when they need your help. In just a few years, they'll be making all their decisions on their own. Are you preparing them for that day?


February Activities

TNT Group
Our Tuesday Night Teen Group is from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Youth Barn. All 6th-12th graders are encouraged to join us for this time of fellowship, worship, and study. The flow of each night usually consists of 20 minutes of hanging out (video games, foosball, food) then we spend about 10 minutes with some kind of group game or activity. After that we spend around 20-30 in worship and singing to God followed by 20-30 minutes of Bible study, discussion, and prayer. This is a relaxed environment perfect for any teen to bring their friends.

Super Bowl Party
All 6th-12th graders are encouraged to join us at 3:00pm for the "Big Game" on Sunday, February 3rd. Whether you're rooting for the Eagles or Patriots (or just want to laugh at the commercials) there's nothing like watching the game projected on the side of the Youth Barn wall. And there will be card games and board games for those who could care less about the football game. Girls are asked to bring snacks or desserts, and guys are asked to bring drinks. Pizza will be provided.

Social Media Seminar
Real Life Ministries in Post Falls is hosting a free seminar for teens and their parents on Sunday, February 11th, at 6:00pm. Officer Gomez from the Meridian Police department will be on hand for an eye opening seminar on internet safety. Discussion topics will include: Dangerous Applications, Bullying, Sexting, Predators, Hidden Dangers, Best Practices for Parents, Phone Controls, and School Issues.

Snow Tubing
All 6th-12th graders (parents and families are welcome too!) are invited to join us for a fun-filled morning at Mt. Spokane. We will be leaving the church building at 8:00am on Saturday, February 17th, and returning home around 3:00pm. Each participant will need to bring $20 to pay for their 3-hour time slot on the tubing runs plus some extra money for food and drinks at the lodge. We will also be joined by the youth groups from Richland and Wenatchee so don't miss this great time of fellowship. Everyone needs to sign up by Sunday, February 11th, so we can make sure we have enough transportation.

Teen Trends
Post Falls High School will have a free presentation for parents in their school auditorium on Wednesday, February 21st, at 6:00pm. Detective Uhrig from the Post Falls Police Department will be discussing "Current Trends with Teenagers." This seminar is only for parents, to help them keep up to date with the changing struggles that teens face in the 21st century.

SNL
All teens and parents are encouraged to join us for our monthly SNL Devo. We'll get together from 6:00 to 8:00pm for some food, fun, and fellowship. Watch the DG Church Family News bulletin for location information.

COMING SOON
Road Show : March 11
Spring Break : March 26-30

SUMMER CAMP DATES
Uplift : June 24th - 30th
All Teen : July 29th - August 4th
Preteen : August 5th - 11th

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