Guiding Your Kids Through the Tough Years (2)

Guiding Your Kids Through the Tough Years (2

…wisdom is better than muscle….’
Ecclesiastes 9:16

Parent, you influence your child more than anyone else! You say, ‘But they seem to pay little or no attention to me, and lots to their friends!’ Peers are very influential, and if you’re dismissive or judgmental with them you’ll just increase your child’s negative peer pressure. Your teenager’s resistance isn’t necessarily saying they disagree with your opinions or think you’re wrong, they’re just experiencing two powerful, life-shaping, natural tendencies. First, for healthy social growth they need peer relations. Appearing ‘cool’ to friends promotes those relations, so they’ll seem to downplay your influence. Don’t take it personally; it’s about them and their growing needs, not about you. Second, normal development is pushing them towards becoming more independent. When they push back it’s usually more about this, than about rebellion or even substantial disagreement with you. These God-designed inclinations prepare them to ‘leave father and mother and become one flesh’ with someone else for life (Genesis 2:24). In fishing, ‘you let out the line or risk breaking the rod and losing the catch.’ Discover the natural flow of teenage development and work with, not against it! Try to redirect your teen by helping them find constructive ways to express their new autonomy and you’ll help them harness it the right way. What you think or believe isn’t the problem, how you handle it with them is. Remaining rational, loving, affirming, prayerful and patient invites cooperation rather than confrontation. In God’s timing they’ll embrace your values, beliefs and attitudes. ‘…when he (or she) is old, he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6NKJV).

Ucb booklet

Guiding your kids through the tough years. ( 1)


Guiding Your Kids Through the Tough Years (1)

‘…wisdom is better than muscle…’ Ecclesiastes 9:16

Are you raising a teenager? Welcome to the tough years! There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just parenting an adolescent. You say, ‘But they are just ten, this craziness shouldn’t be happening yet!’ Sorry, but now they develop faster! Puberty hits them between ten and twelve years of age, and learning how this accelerated genetic mix functions is vital to good parenting. So here are some helpful updates: 1) Some of your old ways aren’t likely to work anymore. What worked with young kids frequently fails with older ones. Do you remember when raising your voice to your seven-year-old brought instant obedience? Try that with your hormone-charged teen-and get ready for battle! Teenage chemistry defies the old logic, so learn what makes them tick, pray for grace and respond based on what works, not what doesn’t. If you treat teens like pre-teens you will get nowhere! 2) What didn’t come naturally, can be learned. Those ‘model parents’ you heard about are either understating it, enjoying a short-term break, or they earned their stripes the hard way. It’s not easy. You learn to do it well by first doing it poorly, then doing it better, then asking God to do what you can’t. And He will! 3) Your only unforgivable mistake is the one you won’t acknowledge. Your children know you’re not flawless and they can handle it. They also know how big you have to be to admit it, and they’re quick to forgive. So forget modelling perfection; just show them, humbly and constructively, how to handle it when they’ve been imperfect!

Ucb booklet