Parenting today's teens is certainly one of the most difficult things anyone will do in their lifetime. And to make it more difficult it will take place in a fast span of of just a few years. Before you know it your teen will become a young adult and one of the most important times of your influence in their life has past by. Most parents of teens I have known are very dedicated and are working hard to lead their children to become God honoring adults. Yet most are concerned they are failing with their teens and are carrying great burdens for them.
Let me encourage each parent whose children are in their teen years. You are not a failure until you give up and quit. Stay in the work of parenting. Don't let up even when it seems as if the battle has been lost. Remain committed and never stop parenting the best you can even when it seems it is not going well. When your teen seems to disagree with you more often than not. When they are angry with you on a regular basis. When they seem to hate you and even say it! Don't give up on them and don't make it easy for them to give up on you! Do all you can to learn how to parent the best possible. Read good books, listen to good teaching on the subject. Pray much and stay in communication and relationship with them during these turbulent years. Seek council of other parents who have reared godly children and listen to that council. Make an appointment with a pastor or a councilor that may be able to help. Above all don't give up.
There are so many areas that could be focused on concerning rearing teens but today I have chosen to share HOW TO HAVE A GOOD DISCUSSION. I will share a very brief and small amount of helpful information but perhaps it will be what is needed today for some lonely and discouraged mom or dad to find heart to continue in this life changing work called parenting. Remember that often our discouragement and temptation to let up is because the problems look so large and unattainable but the answer is to take small steps one at a time. And to continue taking those steps of solution. Much of my inspiration for this blog came after reading an article from the ministry, Parenting Today's Teens. I have added my thoughts along with theirs. Hope it helps.
So many parents have been right where you are but because they did not quit they are experiencing rich relationships with adult children who are walking with the Lord. They did not quit praying, holding to God’s standards, practicing godly discipline and holding firm to their relationships with those they loved.
Tips To Have A Good Discussion
1. Relationship Is the goal!
Make sure your teen knows that even though the two of you may
disagree, you still want to have a relationship with them.
2. Set the rules for discussion!
Let your teen know the rules for discussion. No shouting,
no name calling, respect for authority, dedication to biblical truth,
a respectful and healthy discussion.
3. Set times to discuss disagreements!
Both take some time to cool down, to think clearly, write down your concerns.
Calm discussion is much better than when we are flying off the handle.
4. Keep the purpose at the forefront!
The meeting should never be about someone winning and someone loosing.
It is about understanding, the adhering of truth and restoring relationship.
It the midst of the battle don’t lose focus of the purpose.
5. Practice the discipline of listening!
Give your child time to talk. Listen to what they are saying more
then thinking about what you are going to say. Interruptions usually
are deal breakers.
6. Parents make the final decision!
Decisions can be made together and a wise parent is always seeking
to allow the teen to make good decisions. But the parent must reserve their
God given authority to make biblical decisions which are best for their teen.
Calmly state your decision and stick to it even when they protest.
Speak the truth in love.
7. Continually draw near your teen!
Above all else do not withdraw from your child during disagreements.
And do all you can to not allow them to withdraw from you. Yes give space
while there is anger but always draw close to your teen. Let them know how
much you love them no matter the outcome of the discussion.
8. Pray, pray, pray, pray.
Pray before, during and after your discussion.
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 28 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.