Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager?
The emotional ups and downs. The daily decisions that affect your future. Temptation after temptation coming from every direction. School, sports, clubs, friends, parents, not "fitting in," fitting in with the wrong crowd, planning for future, worried about the past, not understanding the present, etc. Life is moving a million miles a minute and while it's fun it's just as challenging.
Sometimes it's easier to have high expectations for our teenagers without stopping to think about where they are at mentally, physically, and emotionally. It's not easy to come down to their level and think like they do but it is absolutely necessary. It will make you a better parent.
Here are three things to remember about your teenage child and your response to each of them:
1) Being a teenager is really hard.
It's hard to express the importance of the teenage years. This is where you become you. Where you define your identity. Choices in these years affect the rest of your life. This process is confusing and often draining. Failures occur constantly and those usually don't make sense to them. Often times they are left to themselves to pick up the pieces. The pressures they face outside of the home have to be countered with love and support in the home.
Parent's Response: Encourage your children by making sure they understand how proud you are of who they are. You're probably the only one telling them this.
2) Being a Christian teenager is even harder.
So you're saying I can't do 80 percent of what all those kids are doing? Those things I hear about everyday? I'm supposed to be different? Standing out for something that is in the minority as a teenager goes against every natural feeling. It gives you a certain tag, a different kind of reputation. It's kind of like you disagreeing with every one of your bosses in front of the entire company, everyday. It's not easy by any means. However, if they can make this stance now God will trust them with special things in the future. Help them in this journey!
Parent's Response: Pray for boldness and courage daily.
3) They need your help... just not always in the way you think they do.
They will make mistakes and they will fail. Bad choices produce teaching moments. The question is not will they fail but do they trust that you understand them so that they will listen to your helpful instruction. Parents, you are needed. They know it but they won't say it. In truth, teenagers are begging for their parents to understand them, listen to them and help them. In that order by the way. They know discipline is coming but is that all they get? Is that all they need?
Parent's Response: Hear their side and let them know you understand before anything else is said.
Remembering these three simple truths about your kids in the midst of any parenting opportunity might help your perspective. It may even bring you closer to your son or daughter.
What do you think Parents?
Posted on Thu, July 25, 2013
by Griffin Gilstrap