Blog Tour with Rebecca Ingram Powell

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I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Rebecca Ingram Powell speak at our area’s homeschool curriculum fair a couple of months ago. I found her to be a wonderful speaker — funny, engaging, and articulate. She interacts with her audience in such a way that each person feels drawn in and included. She was speaking on the topic of parenting your middle schooler.

When I arrived at the fair that day, I thought I had completed all of my purchases for the school year. I was just going to help out at the registration table and stop in to hear this one workshop before I left. By the time Rebecca was finished speaking, I knew I had to make two more purchases, her latest book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose and Wise Up!, Rebecca’s Bible study guide for middle school-aged girls.

I haven’t been disappointed with either purchase.

I was thrilled beyond words when, a few weeks ago, Rebecca contacted me about being a part of her blog tour to promote Season of Change. I think the book is a must-read for parents of middle schoolers, as are the previous stops on Rebecca’s blog tour where she shares even more of her heart for young people. She has some wonderful insight and wisdom to share with parents of middlers and her passion for this age group shows every time she speaks about them. Join me in welcoming Rebecca for the last stop on her blog tour.

RIP: Kris, it’s exciting to be here at “Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!” Thanks for having me! You’ve got a great blog with tons of information for homeschooling parents!

Thank you so much, Rebecca. It is truly an honor and a pleasure to have you here today.

In Season of Change, you speak very candidly about your own middle school years. What did God teach you during your “season of change” that has equipped you to guide your children — and now potentially thousands of other young people — through the often turbulent and confusing middle school years?

You know, Kris, for me, middle school was a difficult time! In Season of Change, I share how my family moved just as my sixth grade year started, so I was in a new town and at a new school with no friends. I could hardly get my bearings! I started out feeling left out and lonely, and even though I was raised in a Christian home, it didn’t keep those feelings at bay.

I didn’t know how to search God’s truths for myself. I didn’t understand how the Bible applied to me, as a twelve-year-old. The very things that should have made a profound difference in how I felt about myself could not withstand the daily assault waged by my peers and my perceptions. I guess you could say that my weapon was loaded, but no one had ever taught me how to aim and shoot!

What I hope I’ve done in Season of Change is help parents understand that their middle school age kids have got to know how to engage in active ministry. They must also know how to search, say, and sow the Word of God in their own lives.

Rebecca, it seems that much of the advice found in Season of Change is based on a parent having a good foundational relationship with his or her middle schooler. What advice do you have for parents who may find themselves at this pivotal time in their child’s life without having those “heartstrings” tied?

It’s never too late! If a parent finds herself in that position, she is going to have to realize that it is going to take some work to tie or re-tie those heartstrings. And it is going to require perseverance! It will be a building back of trust.

Last summer I was in a restaurant, sitting across from a mom and daughter. I love to take my kids out on dates, and I wondered if perhaps that’s what these two were doing. However, they never spoke one word to each other. Not one. And then, there was something in the mom’s eyes as she was looking at her daughter, something that seemed to be searching—searching for some kind of clue as to how get inside. I started wondering if perhaps that mom was trying to reach her daughter. If she was, their little dinner hadn’t gone well. And I just started praying that God would give that mom the strength to persevere and reclaim her relationship with her girl.

You have to communicate with your kids. And that’s a two-way street. I also tell parents to keep in mind that while their kids may know that they love them (after all, we have to love them! LOL!), kids really need to know that their parents LIKE them. We can do this by spending time with them, and during those times, FOCUS on them.

That’s really good advice. Sometimes it’s all too easy to allow other thoughts to crowd our minds to the point that we’re not really even hearing what our kids are saying, much less really listening.

You also talk, in your book, about “drastically different dating.” This is the direction that we are moving with our children, as well, so I’m curious to know: does drastically different dating differ any, by your definition, from courtship and how do your children feel about not dating casually, as most of their peers will be doing?

Drastically Different Dating (DDD) and courtship, in my book, are two different things! In fact, I don’t even talk about courtship in the book. Courtship is for people who are of marriageable age. DDD is a different way to look at dating—it is in fact, a look at how to “not date,” and still spend time with members of the opposite sex as friends, and most importantly, as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I explain in Season of Change about how I really started talking about “not dating” when my kids were young. So I spent a lot of years laying the groundwork for this concept. But truly, I don’t believe it was what I did as much as it was what I prayed. I have always prayed for my kids in this regard. And I had them each begin praying for her/his future spouse at the age of five. At five years old, spouses were included in bedtime prayers!

You see, when we begin praying for someone, that person becomes real. And it’s important for our children to recognize the fact that there is a REAL person out there who will one day be a husband or wife to them. They realize as they grow that they don’t want that person flirting around with others or dating anyone but them!

So far, my kids are okay with not dating, and it’s truly a work the Lord has done in their hearts. He has also provided friendships that help hold them accountable. He’s given them like-minded kids to pal around with. And, our wonderful youth pastor and his wife, who did not kiss until their wedding date, are a tremendous inspiration.

I really like that idea of having your kids begin to pray, at a young age, for their future spouses. I can see how that would help that person begin to be real in their lives and become someone to whom they’d want to begin being faithful even now.

If parents could take only one thing from Season of Change, what would you hope that it would be?

I want parents to realize that middle school is a critical stage of parenting, and it’s a beautiful one! These are the years that many children receive the whisper of God’s call on their lives. I was sitting at a large, denominational conference for girls when I was in the eighth grade, listening to a speaker, and I heard God whisper that I would do the same thing one day! Unfortunately, I put that way in the back of my mind instead of keeping it in front of me, as a vision for my future. As parents, we want to help our children keep Christ and His call on their lives in front of them during these years.

That’s a high calling for parents and one on which we often don’t focus as much as we should — helping keep our kids focused on God’s plan for their lives. Thank you so much, for joining us today and for allowing me to be a part of promoting this fabulous book.

Kris, thanks so much for being a part of my tour! This has been so much fun!

It’s truly been my pleasure, Rebecca.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Wow! This was great! It has definitely encouraged me to seek a closer relationship with my kids. They are still young, but you can bet in a few years, I will be buying “Seasons of Change”!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us…great interview.
    I love the ‘talking about future spouses’ and praying for them. We do the same here, truly I want them to have their hearts fixed firmly on God and allow Him to direct their paths…with beauty and purity.

    I love your blog header…so cute! That Hilary Clinton quote just cracks me up!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

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