I remember when Jordan, my youngest son, began his junior year at BCS. He was involved in football, basketball, track, choir, Summit Groups at BOCC, and more. He was taking drivers ed and would soon be driving himself to school. I could see his independence on the horizon, and while I was happy for him, I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of sadness for myself. I knew that he was growing into a young man and would soon be living independently as the person I raised him to be.
As I reflected on Jordan, I realized that I had a limited amount of time left with him at home, living with Albert, my husband and me. I wrote a note to myself, acknowledging that I had 108 weeks left with Jordan before he went to college beginning the next phase of his life. I contemplated how I would prioritize our time together and make the most of it, knowing how quickly time flies.
As I wrote down the aspirations I wanted for him during his last two years of high school, it struck me that some of the things I desired for Jordan were the same things I wanted for students at Brentwood. Here’s the list of what I wanted to accomplish:
- Plan meaningful retreats to unite students with each other in the love of Christ.
- Meet with the Student Council president to plan a student-driven year based on our students desires and needs.
- Foster meaningful mentor groups, where mentees can share their thoughts and opinions without judgment and receive encouraging words.
- Teach students the joy of serving others and how to serve together.
- Engage students in conversations, play games, walk and talk together, discuss TV shows, sports events or other areas of interest to them.
- Model positive behavior that would allow students to walk in a godly direction.
- Bring students to have a love of God, know that God loves them, and know that they have worth because they are created in the image of God.
- To have some fun together.
I continue to try and create meaningful experiences and relationships for both my son and my students, nurturing their growth and guiding them toward a fulfilling future.
According to the Barna Group, Generation Z (Gen Z), your student, desires authentic relationships and mentorship, and are seeking meaningful person-to-person connections. It’s important for us to show them that they are our priority. Here are some ways to engage them in face-to-face interaction:
- Share and discuss interesting topics from books or articles with your student.
- Ask for their opinion on the topic as you engage in these conversations.
- Practice empathy by understanding your child’s viewpoint and feelings without criticism. James 1:19
- Encourage problem-solving by seeking your child’s input.
Spending time and having meaningful conversations is a valuable investment in your child’s well-being. How many weeks do you have with your student before they go to college?
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and may the time you have with your family bring you love, peace, and joy.