Growing up and learning how to relate to other women is not easy. Girls entering the middle school years find a social hierarchy established on the shaky ground of tender adolescence. These years have the power to lay the foundation for a lifetime of gossip, bitterness, and unforgiveness. For most tweens, it is easy to be critical rather than caring and fault-finding rather than forgiving, but these tendencies must be transformed through the cleansing power of God’s Word. That’s where you come in, Mom! Are you willing to set an example of a Christ-like approach to offenses? Believe me, it's quite easy to revert to the vengeance, feelings, and form of a hurt 12-year-old when it's your baby girl who's being mistreated! But we're called to a higher standard.
Praying together now will lay the groundwork for approaching your daughter’s teen years as prayer partners.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29). Gossip, teasing, name-calling, and sarcasm are standard fare for pre-teen conversation, whether it is up close and personal or anonymous via cyberbullying on email and blog sites. Your daughter can go against the flow by remembering this verse and using her speech to encourage her peers with truthful words that are kind and helpful.
Don’t show favoritism (James 2:1). Help your daughter avoid the trap of superficiality. Lead her to understand that friends should not be chosen based on how they dress or how attractive they are. She will miss out on some great friendships if she makes judgments based on first impressions.
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