We have all heard the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” If you are reading this, you probably already have kids and know from first-hand experience that this proverb is true. It takes an entire community of people to help your kids experience a healthy environment to grow and develop.
Since we know this is true, let’s take a look into why it is important to involve other trusted adults in the life of your child.
Trusted adult: An adult a young person can turn to if they are in trouble or need someone to talk to.
If your kids are young, preschool, or elementary-aged, you still have significant influence over what your kids do each day, who they play with, and where they go. But as your kids get older, other voices will begin to influence their lives. Let’s look at it through this chart.
A recent study conducted by Springtide Research Institute found that nearly 40% of 13-25-year-olds feel they have no one to talk to and feel left out. Due to this sense of loneliness, as your kids get older, they will begin to seek their own community where they feel they belong. This community, which will involve peers, other adults, and social media, will begin to have a huge impact on what your kids think, say, and do.
This is why it’s important to begin to bring in other trusted adults who will say the same things you are speaking into your child’s life and help give your child a sense of belonging.
“Giving your child a tribe anchors them and gives them a sense of belonging.” Jeff Henderson, lead pastor of Gwinnett Church
Now that you understand why it’s important, the next question you might be asking is: “Where do I find these other trusted adults?” There are a few places that you could begin.
Some of these adults might already be in your child's life, like their grandparents. Prioritize your child having time, even from a young age, to develop relationships with their grandparents.
Carve out time in your schedule to be involved in community groups or Bible study at your local church. Then as you develop relationships with adults in these groups, you can begin to allow those relationships to blossom outside of the normal group meeting times, and those adults can start to form relationships with your children.
“Community is never easy, and it’s never something you want to do, but it’s something you’re glad you did.” Gerald Fadayomi, former youth pastor and author of “Before You Go.”
Make sure your child attends church regularly. At Fellowship Greenville, our Kids and Student ministries seek to be a place that your child can belong, believe, and become. This is why they place a significant emphasis on small groups. Each small group has one or two consistent leaders interacting with and speaking biblical truth to your children every week. Take some time to get to know these small group leaders because they influence your child’s life.
Lastly, talk with your child about adults they admire. Ask them, “Who is one adult you think is cool who you would like to get to know better?” Then work on scheduling time for them to connect with that adult.
Yes, this is going to require a little effort from you. But again, remember why this is so important for your child.
Springtide summed up their research on loneliness in teens this way, “increasing the number of trusted adults in a young person’s life is a critical response to severe loneliness, social isolation, and stress. The more trusted adults in a young person’s life, the greater the experience of belongingness.”
For your child, adding trusted adults into their lives is more than just having adults say the same things you are speaking to your child. It makes them feel seen, known, and loved, which deepens their sense of belonging.
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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