By Angie Grobbelaar –
Tween identity? Is that even a thing? You’d better believe it is.
Yes, I may be three months into this ‘tween’ or ‘preteen’ phase of parenting but I have come to realize my 10 year old daughter is moulding, forming, creating her very own sense of who she is… thankfully using the God given values and morals we’ve instilled in her (through much prayer and consistency) and not so thankfully, using a bit too much of what we haven’t.
It’s a scary world out there I tell ya
School, music, friends, social media, movies, celebrities are all (sometimes unknowingly) vying for my preteen’s heart and attention.
These kids start asking themselves if they are smart enough, pretty enough, cool enough… and they don’t always come to ‘us parents’ to get those answers. Even though we may do everything in our power (with God’s awesome help) our little tween will start to ask these new questions and we need to be armed and ready for that.
(Aaah…remember those days when your little girl or boy thought that you were the only one who could tell them how lovely and cute and wonderful they are… And they listened… Sigh…)
Woops, I started daydreaming for a minute there…
Sadly in the tween world, this daydream slowly goes out of focus, and your little girl or boy may start choosing and listening to other peoples answer’s.
REMEMBER: The enemy would love for them to choose any answer other than the one you know Jesus has.
That’s why I am desperate for my daughter, and those in the preteen world to KNOW, REALLY know who they are and WHOSE they are.
It may seem premature to want preteens to have an Identity found in God at this young age but given some research about and with kids I know, I have found that preteens are desperate to be SOMEONE (even if they don’t understand who that is yet).
Just listen to them talk and you will hear that yearning creeping into their voice for that unique identity. And WHO better to give them that Identity than the ONE who created them.
In researching this, I found these pretty cool ‘payoffs’ for preteens at ministrytodaymag.com (as long as they find that identity in Christ sooner rather than later).
They learn that no matter what happens in life, God does not change the way He sees or feels about them. When I chat to kids who are unsure of who they are, it’s always linked to the fact that their identity was placed in something with no certain future (sport, friends, social media-oh boy don’t we know that one). It’s not that way with God. There is great, solid, stability in Jesus because He never changes.
When kids know that the God of the universe — who owns everything and called everything into existence — created them for a real, proper, personal purpose, and in His own image, it makes all the difference in the way their perceive themselves. Knowing a God who cares about the intricate details of their lives shows worth beyond measure.
Placing their identity in Christ gives them a sure future and a solid hope. They only need to trust in Him. Their God Identity gives them purpose because of who God has created them to be in Him. And as they strengthen their relationship with Him, their purpose will become clearer.
There is confidence when our identity is in an unshakeable God whose love for us started it all. Tweens don’t have to look to others or other things to know who they are. They can look to Jesus who ‘even before He made the world, loved them and chose them in Him to be holy and without fault in His eyes’ (Ephesians 1:4)
So what now?
We as the older, wiser people (yes parents, we are wise) need to tell these wonderful kids:
They need to know that their identity doesn’t have to be an unstable thing tossed about by every wind and wave in their lives but it can be completely grounded in the One who created them, loves them and gives them purpose.
The preteen existence is full of new discoveries… my prayer (and hopefully yours) is that they FIRST discover God and His plans and purposes for them. Then all the other stuff will ‘dim in the light of His glory and grace.’
Picture by Paballo Thekiso