THE PHASE WHEN FRIENDSHIPS SHIFT, GRADES COUNT, AND INTERESTS CHANGE SO OFTEN YOUR TEENAGER HAS TO EXPLAIN, "THIS IS ME NOW."
YOU MAY NOTICE A FEW NEW FRIENDS
The average high school has 750 teenagers, 250 dating couples, and more than 50 options for extracurricular activities. With so many opportunities to connect, your high schooler may find their place in engineering class or on the debate team, in drama club or on the basketball court.
THERE IS A NEW ACADEMIC REALITY
Year-9 means increased demands for personal responsibility. For those headed to college/university, grades begin to count toward future admission. For everyone, grades count toward a high school certificate.
THIS IS A YEAR OF IDENTIFYING TALENTS
By the end of this year, your teenager will have a more stable sense of who they are. Frankly, they may be a little frustrated you haven't known who they were all along. (Why not? it's been so obvious.) Listen carefully. Pay attention. Stalk them openly. The greatest thing you can do in this phase is to continually rediscover who they are becoming and know where they are finding acceptance.
High school means higher stakes. Many Year-9 students spend this year redefining who they thought they were or what they thought their future would be. Pay attention. Ask questions. This is a significant year.
THINKS LIKE A PHILOSOPHER
You help them learn when you... ASK QUESTIONS.
WANTS TO KNOW "WHERE DO I BELONG?"
You capture their heart when you ... VALUE COMMUNITY
IS MOTIVATED BY FREEDOM
You coach their moral abilities when you ... GIVE CHOICES
THIS YEAR YOU WILL 'FUEL PASSION' SO THEY WILL KEEP PURSUING AUTHENTIC FAITH AND DISCOVER A PERSONAL MISSION
In this phase when your year-9 teenager is asking, "Where do I belong?" foster their connection to a positive faith community. Your Year-9 teenager will need consistent peers and leaders who will strengthen their relationship with God. So, look for ways to prioritise their church connection, and stay engaged in their faith journey by having conversations at home
SAY THINGS LIKE :
"HOW CAN I PRAY FOR YOU TODAY"
"WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU FEEL LIKE GOD IS TEACHING YOU RIGHT NOW?"
"LATELY, I'M FINDING I CONNECT BEST WITH GOD WHEN I'M..."
"WHEN DO YOU FEEL CLOSEST TO GOD?"
"I DON'T KNOW"
"THERE'S NOTHING YOU WILL EVER DO THAT COULD MAKE GOD STOP LOVING YOU."
"WHEN YOU TOLD ME ABOUT ... IT MADE ME THINK OF A VERSE IN PROVERBS.:(Share Bible verses that relate to their present circumstances)
YOUR YEAR-9 TEENAGER IS CHANGING
- Has difficulty falling asleep before 11pm, but still needs 9 hours of sleep per day
- Guys are getting taller, smellier, hairier, and gaining muscle mass; may also experience voice changes, weird dreams, and increased acne
- Girls' bodies take on an adult physical appearance, after menstruation, increase in height will slow, then stop
- Increasingly able to focus, recall, and organise information
- Overly self-aware: may think "Everybody's watching me"
- Wired for risk-taking and sensational experience
- Resists embarrassing situations
- "I'm bored" often means, "I don't understand"
- Girls begin wearing make-up on a regular basis
- Increased interest in sexual expression, but dating tends to be short-lived
- Say they want parents to listen more than advise
- May be tempted to change their appearance or behaviour to gain acceptance
- Feels empowered through choices rather than rules
- May still feel insecure about their changing body
- May experience changes in motivation
- Seeks experiences that create intense feelings and emotions
- More vulnerable to addiction, such as self-harm, alcohol and pornography