Teenagers. Just this year, I entered the world of being the mom to a teenager. Just last week, I had a teenage daughter who finished seventh grade, and will enter her last year of junior high. Teenagers. The word is a little scary at times.
I spent many of my singles years working and discipling teenage girls to walk in truth. I have had some awesome relationships with some great young ladies. I really think God used that time, and those sweet girls, to help prepare me to help with my own sweet girl, who took steps all too soon towards teenager world and independence. However, nothing is a better teacher then the Holy Spirit!
When dealing with teenagers, you need to know it is about the approach. I learned early on – with the teens I mentored, or my own daughter, that my attitude is everything. They almost automatically come back defensive if we come at them in that way. We need to know their hearts. We need to spend time with them outside of just the moments of training. Especially for our daughters, they need to know we love and trust them – and then they can move forward into the lessons we are trying to train them. They are building more grown up ways of trust, and we need to remember that this is the relationship they are going to remember.
When we are training teenagers, we need to look for teachable moments. You know the ones that stand out. We need to be ready for those moments, because just like with everything else with teenagers, it often comes unexpected. Some of the best conversations I have had with my daughter started randomly. It doesn’t always look like the books or tv show you, with mom and daughter sitting on the bed, having deep heart to hearts. No, sometimes it is in the grocery store, the car, or the living room. We need to b available and ready to have those tough conversations- and willing. Our moments with our teenagers are limited. They spend time by themselves and with friends. They are busy. And, the years are short.
Set up clear expectations for your teenager so that you help them thrive and not set up for failure.
Continue to have guided time in the Word of God and prayer – be their accounability partner.
The big area is, of course, with the opposite sex. Set down guidlines and expectations. Talk about what the rules in your home are going to be. Be the home where the teens want to go – be the safe place.
Know it isn’t always going to be easy – but the time you invest in your teenager will be worth it and it is eternal.
*If you have enjoyed the Teaching Them Diligently series- you might want to check out the ebook which has expanded information than these blog post. *
Worshiping With My Life,