In the past year we had 5 teenagers in our home.
It has been fun and definitely a season of change.
My 16 year old son just recently got his driver's license. What a fun ride that has been in more ways than one! He is very mature for his age and this week he is looking to buy a car on his own with the money he has saved from his part time job. He can't wait to become a man and do all the things he has been dreaming of his whole life. He turns 17 in two months and I sometimes feel like my days with him are just slipping through my fingers.
Having a houseful of teens has changed our lives so much. It is a blessing to see how they are growing and being able to help them with what they are struggling with.
Here are a few things I have learned along the way that I am sharing and praciting, and maybe they will help you as you raise your teen:
1. Listen to them.
When our children were younger they just needed to be fed, clothed, and played with but now that they are older we spend a lot of time listening to them and what they are doing at work and how they are dealing with friends, temptations, and so forth. This is how we love them--by being there. We are an available listening ear that is there for them. We want them to know that we value them so we take the time to hear their hearts.
2. Lead them to God.
As we listen to them we lead them to God. We want them to know that God's ways are best and are a protection in our lives. As teenagers they need even more guidance now, just in a different way.
3. Pray for them
When I get time I try to talk to a child alone and ask them how they are doing. This is a great time for them to share their hearts with me privately without the rest of the family listening. When we are done I like to take their hand and pray for them personally. I want them to know that I care about them enough to do that and will always do it for them. I also follow up and ask them how they are doing in near future.
4. Don't give up on them.
I have heard from so many of you who want to give up on your teen, but don't do it. They need you now more than ever and we need to remember that a spiritual battle is being fought. Their is a war on our children's souls and we need to be vigilant and by their side. Chase after them if we need to and love them with God's love that always hopes.
5. Trust God.
Sometimes your teen will make a bad decision or do something you won't agree with. This is where you need to trust God and release them in His hands if you haven't already. Know that He loves them more than you do and He holds their life in His hands. Keep being a godly role model and do what you know you need to do as a parent--love, guide, counsel, be available, and keep pointing them to Him.
These are just a few tips, but if you need more encouragement in this area, we highly recommend The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively by Dr. Gary Chapman:
Get practical tips for how to:
- Express love to your teen effectively
- Navigate the key issues in your teen’s life, including anger and independence
- Set boundaries that are enforced with discipline and consequences
- Support and love your teen when he or she fails
Get ready to discover how the principles of the five love languages can really work in the life of your teenage and family.
You can find this book HERE.
What tips would you add?
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