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!