Thank you for joining me as I interview author Rebecca Ingram Powell about her new book: Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose, during her September 8-18 blog tour!

Me: Can you give us an overview of your book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose?

RIP: Sure, Dawn! Season of Change is really a guide for parents, written to help them navigate the coming-of-age years. The book helps parents with all the issues confronting the pubescent journey, including physical development, self image, choosing friends, and social relationships. It encourages parents to be intentional in using these years to direct their kids to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The virtues of reverence, modesty, chastity, meekness, and fidelity of heart are not only explained but made do-able with practical ways of implementing these concepts into daily life. The book includes great tips and advice from parenting experts that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over the years for ParentLife magazine—folks like Dr. Tim Kimmel, Fern Nichols, and Jay Younts.

Me: It sounds like you had to relive your middle school years to write the book! How did that affect you?

RIP: Honestly, it was hard! There were lots of memories to dredge through, and God used the writing of the book to reveal some things in my own life that needed to be dealt with, including some forgiveness issues from those years. Not only did I need to hand out some forgiveness, but I needed to own up to the prideful, foolish behavior from my season of change.

Me: What seems to be the most difficult thing about parenting a middle schooler?

RIP: I think it’s really hard to relive these years with your child–especially a mom with a daughter, and a dad with a son. When we see our kids going through the same yucky stuff that we went through, it is like it is happening again, only worse. It’s hard to remember that we are the adults now! We have to help our kids handle things better than we might have.

I also think that an inherent danger to the middle school years is that we think, as parents, that these are the years to breathe. It’s not like they are little kids anymore, and at the same time, it’s not like they’re asking us for the car keys. So we think that we have a little time off. But we don’t! Now more than ever, we have to be intentional about our parenting, and keep those lines of communication open.

Me: Can you share a tip about how to keep the lines of communication open between you and your child?

RIP: I have found that “dating” my kids is a great way to stay in touch! I try to get each of my three kids alone for some one-on-one time every so often. Whether it’s grabbing one to run to the grocery store with me, or going out for lunch after an orthodontist appointment, or planning a special night out, it is really important to me to have those dates with each of my three kids. Things that would never be shared at the family table are often easily discussed on a date! And for larger families, I interviewed Michelle Duggar (of the wonderfully large Duggar family) to see how she manages to carve out time for each one of her brood! Her tips are included in Season of Change!

Me: Parenting a middle schooler can be difficult. I know – I have two of them! Can you share a word of encouragement with us?

RIP: These are really special years, and it is the very fact of their in between-ness that makes them so precious! Our middle schoolers can do and understand so much more than what they could just a few years ago (when they were 8 or 9), so now is the time to be diligently talking to them about the issues of friendship, sexuality, and standing strong for Christ in a weak culture. Since they are not yet ready to drive or take on a job, we have this time to enjoy and play with them. Middle schoolers are developing not only physically, but also, their senses of humor are taking shape, and they can be some of the funniest, and most fun, people around! It’s difficult to always know what to expect from these hormonally-charged kids who are just trying to find where they fit in, but our job is to embrace this once-in-a-lifetime season and love them all the way through it! Hopefully, Season of Change will help parents do that!

Thank you so much, Rebecca!

If you would like to order Rebecca Ingram Powell’s new book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose, you may do so through Amazon, Proverbs 31 Ministries, or here on Rebecca’s site, where she will send you an autographed copy.

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