Who am I? That’s a pretty big question for a kid to answer. We want to help prepare your fifth grader to respond to this question as they begin to face personal insecurity, pressures to fit in, and can be labeled into social classes.
This year, invite your child to discover their identity in Christ before more influences have the chance to speak into their heart. In the coming weeks or months, you will get to lead your child through a process of learning what makes them stand out.
First, plan to spend some time with your child to create four experiences or intentional interactions. Together, you will read a passage of the Bible and talk through the ideas presented. These discussions will focus on the facts that your child was made with a purpose, God has a bigger plan, and the need for authenticity.
Your next step is to prepare for the Milestone Celebration. This will be a time for you to bless your child as they head toward the middle school years. Discussion Topics:
Set aside time with your child to have four experiences or intentional interactions. These conversations could occur over weekly dinners together or over a weekend retreat. The key is to be intentional and schedule the time. Sometimes, especially with boys, these conversations work best when coupled with an activity you do together like fishing, or going for a hike.
Be sure to reference the resource page of this milestone for an idea to add a unique and meaningful touch to each of these experiences.
Read Psalm 139:13-18 together. These verses depict God’s thoughts about each of us. Take a moment to share with your child some of the doubts and fears you had when you were their age. Also, talk to them about how God brought you through it and what you have discovered about how God has made you unique. Have your child fill a paper with words describing personal character traits, gifts they possess, activities in which they excel, or that describe their personality. Have them identify some of the things that they believe make them unique. As they are doing this, add to their list by naming additional ways you see that God has uniquely created them.
Take this moment to affirm your child and speak God's truth into their life. Call out not just their existing gifts, but also, the incredible potential they possess. Pray for your child that they would see himself or herself as God does.
Share some of the dreams you had as a kid. Let your child know how some of them came true, but some of them did not, and how both of these outcomes are okay. Ask your child about their dreams and the things they would like to do in life. This is a time for your child to think big. Next, read together Jeremiah 29:11.
Explain to your child that God has big plans for their life. Right now, you may not know exactly what those plans look like, but one plan is certain: God wants you to know, love, and follow Him.
Ask your child, “What do you think it means to be authentic?” Being authentic means being real and being "you." Sometimes it's easy to focus on how we are different from others and think of it in a bad way, but God intentionally designed us to be different. Read together 1 Samuel 16:6-13. Explain to your child that God sees people very differently than we see ourselves. God chose David because he had a different heart than his brothers, and God could see that. Tell your child God has created them to be unique. The qualities that they posses were intentionally given by God. Take a moment to share with them again some of the unique qualities you believe God has given them.
If you have previously chosen a life verse for your child when they were dedicated, or at another time in life, share this verse with your child. Explain why this verse is significant to you.
Help your child select a few verses they feel encourage them, gives them strength to follow Christ or helps them look to the future and God’s plan for them. Use the list below to help them get started.
Once a verse or two have been selected, discuss with your child why they chose these verses. Write out the verses and encourage them to personalize the pages if they wish. Let your child place these verses in places they will frequently see as reminders of the truths of God. When they feel down, discouraged or alone they can look to these and remember that God has a unique plan for them. Consider having the verse framed so they can hand it on the wall in their room.
Ask four significant people in your child’s life to write a letter of encouragement and blessing to them. Give them one of the letters at the end of each of the four experiences. You can provide the questions below as a guide if needed: