The child’s teenage years is one that many parents usually do not look forward to as it is assumed to be the period where your girl is expected to shout at you and slam doors and she can get away with it. It is that period that your really chatty son suddenly replies with mono-syllables like ‘uhn’, or ‘yeah’, or ‘maybe’. What is going on?
You may notice that they suddenly become either moodier than necessary or they become really secretive and energetic than usual. Beyond just sending them to school, there’s a whole lot of new things to think about, like curfews, driving, dating, makeups and friends who make you think twice about parenting.
Though it’s a ride that requires you to fasten your seat belt so you won’t be thrown away through the window, yet it’s important that you relax and enjoy the process. Your teenager will most likely test your limit, push your patience and make you want to utter words you don’t want to. In fact most times they will make you feel like they do not need you, but they really do need you!
Here are some tips to help you make this ride more enjoyable.
1. Start Early
You should know that you can’t just wake up when your child is already a teenager and expect him/her to conform to a particular pattern or lifestyle s/he has been oblivious to all his or her life.
You start building up for this stage of their lives from when they are still babies. It is more like building a house, you don’t build a great lintel or roof when the foundation and walls were flops. Am I saying there is no hope if you’re too late on this first point? Definitely not. Read on.
2. Don’t Expect The Worst From Them
Despite being scientifically proven that several hormones are raging in the teenager making them do all sort of things that aren’t expected, it is still important that you don’t expect your teenager to get into trouble. When you are constantly expecting to hear about the next trouble your teenager has gotten into you will definitely hear about it and two other things would probably happen;
- You are very stressed out about your teenager.
- You are constantly acting paranoid and reading unnecessary meaning to things they are involved in.
And well, as Proverbs 23:18 says, “and thine expectation shall not be cut short”, every time you expect to hear news of trouble about your teenager, its most likely going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Rather than sweat about them doing bad things, expect good from them.
3. Choose Your Battles Wisely.
“Fathers, don’t make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction.” – Ephesians 6:4
There are somethings that you should just overlook and move on. Don’t flog the matter much and begin to nag. Somethings should be overlooked, like a little more salt in the soup, a poor movie choice. But things like getting a tattoo, or a really sultry dress style should probably shouldn’t be ignored, but approached with utter carefulness.
4. Know Their Friends.
It is a great thing to know the friends your teenager keeps, apart from helping you know the type of decisions they have been making it gives an insight into their life as well as it helps you to have an influence on their group activities from time to time.
Parents need to learn to talk to their teenagers and not talk at them. They are feeling like adults now and as opposed to times when you would have just said something and they listens, they now have opinions of their own. Learn to communicate with your teenager. It will help you understand as much as possible.
6. Live The Model
“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John3:8
Don’t confuse your teenager by telling them to live lives and values that you aren’t living yourself. Be the model for them. Make it such that you wouldn’t need to talk for them to know what or how it is they should behave or respond various circumstances.
7. Trust the Holy Spirit
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.”
This really is the conclusion of the matter. Learn to trust the Holy Spirit as you raise your teenager. There will be times when you just want to do things but the Holy Spirit will nudge you not to, and there will be times you want to speak and He will instruct you to speak. Trust Him all the way.
I bet you learnt something. Remember to leave a comment and read other articles. *winks*