Parenting a teen is one of the toughest challenges moms and dads face.
Moms and dads have to balance between the Word of God and practical application to help teens navigate the world around them. The character development that happens along the way is what parents hope will point a teenager in the direction of healthy, well-balanced expectations in relationships and social settings. Teens learn more by what they see than what they hear.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Unfortunately, many teenagers are missing the relational skills required to overcome the social pressures and demands from the world around them. Even with positive parenting according to God’s Word, teenagers often lose something in the translation. It is critical for moms and dads to model healthy relationships and Godly behavior to these future young adults along the way.
Parents have a limited amount of time to instill the values, morals and beliefs that will guide their children on the right course. How kids behave with their parents will often transition into patterns of behavior with friends, courtship, Christian dating, marriage and especially in their relationship with Jesus. The influence of a healthy parent is a both a great privilege and a huge responsibility.
But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Parenting teens with relevant, effective tools can outweigh the unhealthy inputs the world delivers. Moms and dads can help their teenager begin a process of critical thinking and take ownership of the decisions he or she will make throughout life. Finding healthy ways to govern the behaviors and attitudes of our youth requires a constant shifting to keep up with the level of development, maturity, and personality of each child and respond accordingly.
Our only hope as parents is to cling to the Word of God and pray for our children daily. When we model a life of devotion to Jesus with our words and our actions, we can give our children a desire to also become followers of Christ.
Love quote: “What a child does not receive he can seldom later give.” ~R.D. James
The following article outlines a proven child-rearing technique to proactively encourage other-centeredness, and the responsibility relationships require. Use this model to create your own parenting practices to implement in your home.