Life With Teens !!!

I have a large gap between my oldest set to my next set of now teens... If you would have asked me back then if it was hard raising them, I would have said yes in its own right... But being honest it is much harder now, than with my older children. I see the daily challenges that this set of teens go through are worse than when I was a child or even their older siblings were teens and the temptations are out of this world.
No matter the change here are some practical tips for raising teenagers that every God centered home can put into practice regardless of the generation. These are not in any certain order... as the thoughts that I came up with and put them down. Look at how they can be worked on just one at a time or at any time your together. Try to find one that you can start right away!

Teenagers (You just have to love them)

I love all of my children but I have to be honest....When my children get to be teens I become more focused on them being ready to be on their own... I try to realize that Love can be shown in many different ways. I try to remember that actions and attitudes speak more in our teens minds and show our love towards our teens much more than the words we say. However, please don’t neglect to tell them you love them. It may seem mushy and unnecessary to say” I love you” to your teen, but it will mean so much to them in the coming years having heard their parents say it.
The right attitude towards your teen son or daughter will communicate love to them. Find ways to engage them in conversation that does not leave one or both of you frustrated with each other. As hard as it might be at times learn to communicate with love.

Revisit the word respect

As the old R and B song states all everyone wants is a little respect! By example your teen will learn what respect looks like.... Show your respect in the way you speak to your teen and about them. Your children are watching and listening. They will pick up when you speak honorably towards them.

No Stupid Rules

Ephesians 6:4 says to not provoke your children to wrath. This means don’t frustrate them... Stupid rules that no one understands or rules that are inconsistent with other expectations simply frustrate those being governed by them. As adults we have probably all experienced these types of rules at work or other areas of your life.... Make sure your rules are clear and posted this allows for clear understanding from everyone.

Obedience should be expected

When you set rules, you should also discuss consequences. It is only fair that every one know the rules but also what will happen if the rules are broken.. Allow your children to help you determine the consequences. You might be surprised that they would assign greater punishment on themselves than you would. Then you need to be consistent in applying the consequences. This goes along with not frustrating your child with stupid rules. Your teen needs to know that there are always consequences for disobedience. If one of your children gets away with breaking a rule and another one doesn’t then you frustrate your children and break down the respect they have for you and their siblings.
When enforcing the rules you have agreed upon, you need to remember you are the parent, not their high school best friend. Your job is to train your teenagers into godly citizens who know how to think on their own. A true friend and parent will do what is right for the teen, not partner with them to fight other authority figures.

Engage Them

Talk with your teenager. Find ways to engage them in conversations. They aren’t going to go to you for advice and share their heart if their only interaction with you is when you are saying to them: “Brush your teeth.” “Clean your room.” “Don’t wear that.”
Find conversation starters—and, “what did you do in school today?”—does not count. What is your child interested in? You should become at least somewhat knowledgeable about that subject and engage them in it.
Seek common ground to help you engage your teen in conversation. Then listen. Let them talk. If you correct them on everything they say or feel like you have to control the conversation, then you are going to turn off your teen’s interest in talking. They should talk and you should listen. You may be surprised as to what you can learn from them.

Be a Good Role Model

Be an example of how you want them to live. Speak respectfully to and of others. Model the behavior you want your child to show. If you spend the evenings complaining about the way the boss runs his business, you are modeling the behavior of your teens sitting with their friends complaining about the way you run your house.
Do as I say and not as I do” should never be part of your training strategy. Your children will do as you do. The question is, are you living in the same way you want them to live?
I have heard it said that what leadership does in moderation, their followers will do in excess. If you took all of your own habits, good or bad, and multiplied their intensity 2 or 5 times, would you want to be around yourself? Consider that every trait you and your spouse have will be magnified in your teenagers. Do you like what you see? Change what you can.

Pass on Your Relationship with God

It is said that God has no grandchildren. What is meant by that a child is not saved because of the relationship his parents have with God. Each person must come to God on his own. Theologically that is true. However, practically a child will more likely come to a personal relationship with God because of the lessons he learns from his parents. Share your love for God with your children.

Affirm Their Good Actions

Teenagers need reassurance. While they are seeking independence they also want to know that they are accepted and loved. Praise them when they do well. It is so easy to live in the same house without talking or engaging one another. Even in a home which is free of stress.
For many, the only time they talk with their teenager is when they have to deal with a problem. Don’t let this be your relationship with your child. Seek out ways to affirm their good actions and decisions.

Your Tips?

I am curious to see what God has taught you in raising teens. Particularly I am curious as to what you consider to be good rules for teenagers. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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