Surviving teenagers – How can I raise my teenager well?
Parenting a teenager can be a time of great struggle for parents. For teens, these years include social pressures from friends and society, a changing body, and a desire for more independence. Spiritually, values are being formed that can have lifelong influence. How can a parent find help to succeed during this time of child rearing?
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First, parents can remember that they are not alone in raising children. God, the influence of God's Spirit, and the wisdom of God's Word are available to strengthen and guide in making decisions and affecting situations. In addition, other Christian friends and family members also have roles to play that can help influence your teenager toward godly living.
Second, focus on living for God as a family priority. Joshua declared "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). When every family member knows that decisions will be made based on God's Word, then there is a clear, objective standard beyond "dad and mom" to provide the principles needed for how to live.
Third, stay connected to the local church and Christian friends. Teenagers begin looking more to their peers and other people of influence beyond their parents. Spending significant time with other Christian teenagers and godly adults can have a tremendous impact on the behavior and life of your teenager. Hebrews 10:24-25 provides biblical support for this practice: "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
Fourth, reaffirm your role as a parent who is responsible for your child's discipline. Teenagers often "push the limits" during these years, seeking to make more independent choices, including some negative ones. Instead of letting teenagers "choose for themselves" in everything, continue to keep guidelines of discipline in important areas.
Fifth, provide accountability. Many teenage problems occur when parents do not know where their teenager is, who they are with, and what they are doing. If a teenager thinks he or she can "get away with it", they are more likely to attempt wrong behaviors. Simply knowing a parent will be asking about the party, game, or movie they are attending can help provide accountability and dissuade poor decisions.
While many other factors are also involved, these biblical principles can help a parent not only survive the teenage years, but continue to build a growing relationship with children that leads toward healthy adult living and a growing spiritual relationship for the entire family.
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Truth about Family