“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Pr 22:6 NLT

Sometimes raising teenagers can be like sending an astronaut into space. Early space probes launched from Cape Canaveral in the 1960s created anxiety for the safety of the astronauts. It was especially intense when the spacecraft was reentering the earth’s atmosphere. At the most dangerous part of the journey, negative ions would accumulate around the heat shield and interfere with radio contact for about seven minutes. Seven-very-long-minutes! Finally the reassuring voice of Chris Kraft would break in and say, “We’ve made contact with Colonel Glenn again. Everything is A-OK.” In a very real sense, adolescence can be like that spacecraft. After the training of childhood, a thirteen-year-old is blasted into space with a flurry. Then something like “negative ions” begins to interfere with communication just as the adults want to be assured of the child’s safety. Why won’t your teen talk to you? Why has he or she disappeared behind a wall of silence? It’s a confusing and terrifying time. Fortunately, in a few years the first scratchy signals will begin to come through again and contact will be reestablished. The negative environment will gradually dissipate, and the “splashdown” during the early twenties can be a wonderful reunion for both generations. What should you as a parent do during this time? First, you must pray for them and stand on the truth of God’s Word: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Second, you must exercise patience. “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jas 1:4 NKJV).

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