Middle school students want lots of things:
- good friends
- more Snapchat followers (more followers, period)
- decent school lunches
- to land a bottle-flip
- to be noticed
- to be chosen
- to be included
- to be loved
- to be cared for
- to be listened to
Really, these are things we all want (most of them, anyway). But in middle school, these desires exist in the midst of countless changes that can be overwhelming, making the desires run that much deeper.
There’s one thing that middle schoolers want more than anything else, even if they can’t articulate it clearly.
Middle schoolers want to be taken seriously.
They want to be viewed as having meaningful ideas, valuable input, significant contributions, legitimate presence, important questions, thoughtful responses, and so much more.
They want to be viewed as unique individuals who are loved and valued enough to not be laughed at, not be made fun of, not be treated lightly, not be overlooked, not be ignored, not be set aside, not be left behind, and not be viewed as a child.
They aren’t adults yet – and most of them know that and are okay with it. But they aren’t children anymore, no matter how much growing and growing up they may still have to do.
Do you want to build meaningful relationships with middle schoolers? Do you want them to know that you’re genuinely interested in them? Do you want them to believe that you truly care about them?
Then simply show up and take them seriously. Really. That’s it. That’s all. That’s everything.
It’s exactly what Jesus did for all of humanity. We dare not do any less for our middle school friends.
Posted by Crystal Kirgiss (WyldLife Leader, Raceway Regional Trainer)