Orange Parent Cue

What You See Is What You Get

Hello parents,

We are the new Sunday school teachers for the 9:45 class for 5th-8th grades! We have really enjoyed getting to know your children the last couple of weeks!

As you probably know, Orange, the Sunday school curriculum that UCC has purchased for us to use, provides us with a parent cue to send out to you so that you can be informed and a part of what your child is learning in church. We will be sending these out every time we start a new unit. Last week we started a unit called "What You See is What You Get." For more information, see the parent cue I included below or go to whatisorange.com for more information about their program.

Please consider joining Adam and I in prayer as we take on the responsibility of leading this class. Already we have received specific questions from the students about how to know if God exists and what angels are really like. Please be praying with us as these young people grow in their faith. Also, on a personal note, both Adam and I are in the process of looking for new jobs. It's been a stressful process, and we would appreciate prayer. If there is any way we can be specifically praying for you and your family, please let us know.

In Christ,
Brohgan Dieker

Philippians 1:3

Parent Cue

What You See Is What You Get

1. Be a Student of What They are Learning
Jesus seemed to make it pretty simple when it comes to what following Him would be all about: love God and love others as you love yourself. But this simple command gets a lot more complicated when we don't see God, ourselves and others as we should. When we don't see rightly, we don't live rightly. So, how do we fix our broken view? How do we start living in a way that reflects Jesus' intensions for our lives, and see the world the way we should? What we see is what we get. So, how do we see the right way?

2. Be a Student of Your Student
No matter how old we get, the need for acceptance never goes away. Consciously or not, we are all drawn to the places and people where we feel absolutely and unconditionally welcomed, approved and believed in. But there may be no other time in life where the pull to feel this acceptance is as strong as the teenage years.

One motivational youth speaker puts it this way, “Acceptance is never more important than during the teen and preteen years – when they are clamoring, ever so awkwardly, toward adulthood and on their way to the summit of self-actualization (their true potential)”

This may not be new information, but as parents to teenagers, it is critical information. As our students approach ages where the need for acceptance is felt more acutely than ever before, the stakes are higher than ever. Because if we aren’t offering the acceptance our teenagers are desperate for, they won’t just live without it—they will look elsewhere for it.

Which is why it is so important that our kids feel the acceptance they need from us primarily. But before addressing what acceptance may look like, let’s talk about what it is not. Acceptance of our students doesn’t have to mean approval of unwise choices. In the article “The Importance of Unconditional Self Acceptance” from the parenting website The Kids Are Alright, the point is made this way: “Accepting a teenager unconditionally doesn’t mean you have to accept their reasoning, the premise of what they’re saying, their poor behavior or bad attitude, their disrespect, their playing the victim card, or their oft-times poor sense of judgment … But the simple act of showing them that you accept them for who they are, as a person – their weaknesses, strengths and all – is the first step to helping them build their own self-acceptance”

In addition, acceptance, from our end as parents, should not be a reaction. We shouldn’t be taking our cues from our teenagers and gauging how to respond to them based off of how they are treating us. In fact, the opposite is true. Though this is a stage of life where they may be naturally pulling away and sending every nonverbal (or verbal) message of how they don’t want us around, this is the time when our communicated acceptance is the most crucial. In offering this, even when your student is communicating something different, you are creating the space for change in their behavior to happen. And whether their behavior changes or not, creating a place where they feel accepted is always a good idea.

So, how do we begin showing unconditional acceptance to our teenagers in actual, tangible ways? How do we put our “I love you” in a language they can really understand?

3. Action Point
Social scientists John DeFrain and Nick Stinnett asked 1,500 kids, “What do you think makes a family happy?” What was their most frequent answer? Doing things together.
Here is a list of seven creative ways parents can demonstrate their love and acceptance to their children.
1. Plan to hang out with your student once a month—and let them choose the activity.
2. Kidnap them unexpectedly for a walk or a meal.
3. Write something encouraging on a Post-it-note and stick it on their bedroom door.
4. Spend an hour listening to their favorite music or watching their favorite TV show with them.
5. Find something about your child’s appearance to compliment.
6. Do one of their chores for them.
7. Sit down with your child and start asking questions … and then listen to them.
Pick one—or all seven—and be intentional this week about showing your student that you love and accept them, just the way they are.
Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.

Event Reminders... don't forget!

For 5th-6th graders only!
J12 meets in the 200 building on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00!

For 7th and 8th graders only!
Solid Rock Middle School Youth Group meets on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 in the Family Life Center!

For everyone!
All church cook out to welcome Barry Park and family, June 9 at 6 pm!

Meet the Diekers!

Long-time members of UCC, Adam and Brohgan Dieker started volunteering for the Solid Rock Youth Group in 2007, and have been specifically ministering to middle school aged youth at UCC since 2009. During the last school year, Adam worked as an At-risk Aid at Eisenhower Middle School, but is planning on returning to K-State in the fall to work towards becoming a licensed marriage and family counselor. Brohgan has worked at Lee Elementary as a lunch aid and the K-State Writing Center while pursuing a second degree in Elementary Education. Both Adam and Brohgan are passionate about youth ministry and Christian education. After a taking a refreshing time away from teaching a Sunday school, the Diekers are excited and humbled to lead the 9:45 class.

The Diekers look forward to celebrating their 4th anniversary this upcoming July 4!