My almost teen said to me the other day, “Why do people not like teenagers?’
That broke my heart! Why do people not like teenagers I thought to myself? Not so long ago a teenager brought the perfect child into the world to save us all.
I also thought why are we letting science say to us that the frontal lobe is so underdeveloped that teen-ages can’t possibly think straight. Have you been watching the Olympics lately? Plenty of hard working, right thinking teenagers winning gold this winter.
Back to my sons question. I am coming to believe that the struggle with teenagers is not about them as much as it is about us (parents and other adults).
“Improving your child’s behavior comes from changing the way you respond.”
– Rudolf Dreikurs, MD
“We were on the same team, not against one another. He didn’t see me as his enemy, trying to squash all his fun and pick his friends. Instead he viewed me as a neutral support, trying to help him evaluate a choice and prepare for success.
These quotes from Parenting Your Teen Ager Through Chaos and Crisis by Patty Scott says it all to me. As I step into my first year of parenting a teen this April, I want to be on the same team not against him.
Joining My Teen’s Team
“Micromanaging is like the plague to teens and it will not bless you as you parent”. (Scott, p. 26)
Patty talks about the teenage years being a “parent do-over” .
Her words could never be truer! Just like, when my budding teenager was a toddler, the world is opening up again to him.
New ideas, feelings, abilities and opportunities are all headed his way. I want to cherish him for who he is becoming, what he is learning, and guide him through the mistakes he will make.
Great ideas are not born from doing things perfectly the first time or the 100th time. Character shaping, learning and creating develop from the willingness to take risks.
Teens Teachable Moments
“Is this a teachable moment?” (Scott, p. 70 )
You bet! Patty gives all of us parenting teenagers tools to make these years precious and priceless, so don’t listen to what you hear in the media–same statement we can tell our teens.
When you add up the influences in your teen’s life, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. (Scott, p. 30)
Whew! I am overwhelmed with the vast array of information that flood into our lives. Peer pressure is supplanted by the all consuming wave of “techno” pressures. As a parent, I am struggling just to keep up with new apps, social media and the latest YouTube shenanigans.
Do not give up! Do not give in!
Refocus! A wise mentoring mother said to me when my children were toddlers.
“They will need you more as teens then as toddlers, plan to be available.”
Teens do talk! Be available to listen.
Parenting Your Teen through Chaos and Crisis provides a quick read with numerous tools. As Patty says, keep
“as many of your interactions as possible rooted in love”. (Scott, p. 70)
Remember Bedtime Prayers?
Remember those seeds, deep within the heart of your child. Pray over them and trust God to grow them in due season. (Scott, p. 29)
It is never too late to plant seeds. Watch for the signs of growth; rejoice in them always following God’s encouragement.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
I challenge you to think differently about your teen than the world thinks. Feed them on love. This beautiful child of God is blooming. Water their growth with the tools learned from Parenting Your Teen Through Chaos and Crisis by Patty Scott. Be the mature Christian parent you are called to be.
Love your teen through the chaos and crisis. You are on the same team!