Your Voice: 5 ways parents can help kids navigate senior year

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Your Voice: 5 ways parents can help kids navigate senior year

Countless students are beginning their senior year. Even more students will begin their coursework through homeschooling, private schools and co-ops.

The transition that awaits a student after they cross the graduation stage will be one of the most important in their lives. In many ways, these students will transition from a life and schedule that has been somewhat routine and charted for them into an unknown.

Below, are five ways parents can help guide their high school senior through this season of life.

  1. Ask them how they are feeling.

I often find that students oscillate between excited and nervous about their transition from high school into whatever is next. This is natural. Talk to your student about their fears and hesitations, as well as their excitements and ambitions.

  1. Talk to them about your transition from high school.

Having done ministry on college campuses for over a decade, I have noticed one factor that significantly contributes to healthy relationships between students and their parents — honest conversations.

Those parents who have had conversations with their students about their own young-adult years often have the privilege of guiding their students through their young-adult decisions.

Students who have never heard of the temptations, struggles and stupid decisions of their parents are often hesitant to come to their parent when they are tempted, struggling or have made a stupid decision.

A parent’s ability to guide their student through the crucial young adult years begins long before those young adult years begin.

As a parent of faith, share your testimony with your student early and often.

Your example, whether good or bad, can only guide them if they are familiar with it.

  1. Expose them to adult mentors.

Several research projects have shown that helping students find adult Christian mentors outside their home is one of the most significant factors contributing to a student staying connected to their faith in their young-adult years.

Help your student get connected to adult mentors who can be examples of faithfulness to them.

  1. Help them make informed plans.

Your student has dreams and aspirations. Help them make God-honoring plans to achieve their goals.

I can remember meeting a student during his first week of classes. He shared with me how excited he was to be an engineer.

Ryan Scantling.

When I shared with him that our university did not have an engineering program, he transferred the next semester.

Help your student identify a road map to head in the direction where he or she wants to go.

Do they need to enroll in college, go straight to the workforce or consider serving in the military? There are great options available for graduating high school seniors.

  1. Encourage them to make spiritual decisions.

As your student transitions from high school, help them make spiritual decisions as well as practical decisions. Put your student in positions where they need to consider their own faith.

As your student is considering a college, ask them how they can get connected to a church and campus ministry in that college town. Help your student consider how their faith could develop as they embark on this new journey.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was originally published by Arkansas Baptist News.


That’s our God. When we begin to lose sight of just how powerful He really is, He picks us right back up.

I believe Jesus stayed behind to show Peter — and us — that we need to focus on Him when times get hard.

Amy Hacker

“When the wind blows”

Never forget to take your burdens to God. Let Him help you carry the weight of a heavy heart. And let His Spirit and His Word spur you to action.

Jessica Ingram

“Carrying a heavy heart”

For more, visit

Anxiety? Remain calm

By Gene Mason
Leadership Ministries, Inc.

The coping skill for anxiety is to remain calm (which reduces the body’s cortisol hormone level). This positively impacts your nervous system and brain, helping you to process stress and think it through in a productive way.

If you are under constant stress and think, “I’m getting too old for this!” that is literally true — anxiety does indeed weaken the body and cause aging characteristics to manifest over time. How, then, can a leader remain calm?

God’s source of calm

Scripture instructs us to “Be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). But how? The passage continues, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Personal peace is a function of our relationship with and trust in God, and remaining in communication with God. Your daily time in prayer, sharing with God your anxiety and stress and asking Him to help ease life’s burdens, is a faith-centered leader’s most practical source of calm. And this comes with a promise — “the peace of God … will guard your heart and mind.”

Our anxiety is stoked constantly by news stories that spread fear and call on us to be offended, outraged and reactive as they predict loss, disaster and chaos.

Developing one’s capacity to remain calm in a given situation also helps others to stay calm. Calm people reinforce calm. (Find Gene Mason’s full blog post on LinkedIn)

Seven things I love about pastors and associational leaders:

  1. They model loving Jesus, family and His church.
  2. They serve needs with priority and discipline.
  3. They commit to the necessary preparation to teach/preach God’s Word as the Holy Spirit leads.
  4. They shepherd their flock with tomorrow in mind.
  5. They lead out of a humble heart.
  6. They pray for discernment and discretion.
  7. They admit they are not perfect and need forgiveness too.

Johnny Rumbough
Lexington (S.C.) Baptist
Association via Facebook

“The goal is to let mamas know they are not alone. God sees them under the piles of laundry, the hidden tears behind locked bathroom doors. He did not call us to this role and abandon us.

“He will equip us with exactly what we need on every twist and turn and straightaway of this motherhood journey,” says author Caris Snider on her new devotional book, “Car Line Mom Devotional: 100 Days of Encouragement for the Mama who Gets Everybody Everywhere.”

Snider draws from her own experiences in the car rider line and seeks to encourage other moms on the same journey.

“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”

 —Elisabeth Elliot

It is imperative that we surround ourselves with godly people who will do life with us and who will point us toward our Savior.

When it comes to those who are in your inner circle, those in whom you confide and from whom you seek counsel, make sure they are godly individuals whom God has placed in your life. One of the areas in which I struggled the most was the area of friendship choices. Red flags would wave continually, but regretfully, I ignored the Lord’s promptings.

Finally, God had to intervene. When the Lord waves a red flag in your spirit — pay attention! For the Lord always sees what you do not.

What you may be viewing as a true friend may be nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Seek God for His friendship choices. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’”
(1 Cor. 15:33).

O’Shea Lowery
Entrusted Hope Ministries

“Under the stage where the pastor stands is a box with a Bible in it so that the pastor is always standing on the Word of God when he is preaching. We don’t feel like we are putting up a building but that we are building a temple to God,” said Mack Honea, who founded Mississippi Nailbenders with his twin brother Jack Honea.

If you hesitate in discipling your kids, the world will not waste the chance to do so.



“Our mission is the same. We’re all within four miles of each other. We’re trying to reach the same communities with the same gospel,” said Tyler Wilkins, pastor of Fellowship KC on partnering with other Kansas City churches in an outreach event.

“Pain that is not transformed is transferred.” Powerful statement.



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