By David Reynolds
You TRAIN children-but you GUIDE teenagers.
I have been asked, at times by parents, what to do with a rebellious teenager. I tell them to pray, pray! I am not trying to be humorous. I am serious, for I believe in prayer. I also believe they have forfeited the best years for training their child. If you have not trained your child to obey and respect you during the ages of 2-10 years of age, then it will happen only by the grace of God plus you living a loving and a consistent Godly life before them.
All is not lost for you can still influence them. Learn to talk and guide them. You will get nowhere by being judgmental or by `preaching’ at them. Treat them as emergent young adults and learn to patiently, respectfully and lovingly talk to them.
How to talk to your Teenager
- Be ready to listen—really listen
- Tolerate differences
- Never imply their feelings don’t matter
- Pick your battles—make sure they are few and important–then win.
Talking to your Teenager about Their Friends
- Never criticize their friends—they will feel honor bound to defend them. Rather–encourage new Friends.
- Open your house to their friends when you are there, so you know where they are.
- Keep your teen busy in church activities.
Talking to your Teenager about Sex
- Recognize their Physical Urges
- Admit your anxiety
- Don’t try to be an expert
- Teach the difference between love and sex
- Teach the importance of keeping themselves pure as a gift to their life companion
Talking to Teenagers about Dating
- Don’t encourage ‘early’ dating
- Don’t encourage ‘pairing up’
- Don’t encourage ‘car dates’
- Do encourage alternate group activities
- Open your house and your fridge to the youth and provide good clean activities
- Bring them to Youth Rallies, Youth Camps, Quizzing and Church Services
How to Act when the Grades Go Down
- Be a Friend—not an Adversary
- Look for the underlying reasons
- Be realistic about your teen’s capabilities
- Be willing to help them or get help for them
“Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children—do not be hard on them or harass them: lest they be discouraged, and sullen, morose, and feel inferior, and frustrated; do not break their spirit.” Colossians 3:21 Amp AA’
The above article, “Teaching by Talking With Your Teenager,” is written by David Reynolds. The article was excerpted from Apostolic Accent.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.