“Be clear minded and self-controlled.” 1Pe 4:7 NIV
Going from childhood to adulthood is a transition that requires a lot of wisdom and love. Your teen will feel and behave child-like sometimes, and adult-like other times. Your job is to realize that whatever their status, they will become a man (woman) and they will remain adult! Navigating through their child-adult struggles elevates your teen’s stress levels, sometimes making them feel out of control. To help them become a mature adult: (1) Be rational, not reactive. Your role requires you to be “clear minded and self-controlled.” Be the grownup; you cannot help your child to become an adult if you’re not one. (2) Be their parent, not their buddy. They need someone “in charge” to shepherd them toward maturity. If you abdicate your role because you’re afraid of your child’s anger, rejection or unhappiness, you abandon them to their own confused ways. You are the calm God put in their storm—the lighthouse to guide them. In the short term they may consider your values, rules, lifestyle and morals outdated. Expect no less; that’s par for the course in parenting. Hold this line! Forget becoming “cool” by lowering your standards; that’s a no-win alternative to good parenting. They’ll challenge you if you’re not cool and they’ll challenge you if you are. (Nothing is as “uncool” to a teen as a parent trying to be “cool”!) Be yourself, maintain biblical standards; they need you to have character. Yes, they’ll fight you now, but if you remain resolute, loving, and consistent, they’ll follow in your footsteps.
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