Parenting is hard. Parenting teens is HAAAARD 🥴I love teenagers and have a heart for their parents. There are few things worse than seeing people who love each other so much, not get along. Sadly, that’s a lot of parents and teens. Every teen is unique but some needs are consistent across the board. Here’s 5 things EVERY teenager needs:
1. Affirmation – Typically we encourage the mess out of kids during adolescence and then when they get to be teens we take more of a “Hey, grow up!” approach. I get it. And there’s some wisdom in that. But no one ever outgrows the need for encouragement. Parents of teens need to be good at saying “I believe in you”, “You can do this” and “I’m so proud of you.”
2. Discipline – They’re not too big to be disciplined. Help them understand the connection between their actions and consequences while they’re still under your roof. Yes, they’ll get mad. Then, they’ll get over it, and eventually they’ll thank you for it. 😉
3. Grace – They’re going to make mistakes. Big ones. A lot of them. Forgive, keep on forgiving and commit to loving them through it. Don’t hold their past against them. Like a good referee, call a foul when you need to, assess the penalty, and then move on. **And whatever you do, don’t give a thought to how their actions “make you look” 🙄 People are gonna talk bad about you (and your kids) because they’re the type of people who talk bad about people. Let ‘em. 🤷🏻♂️ Just stick with your kiddo, give Grace, and help them grow however you can.
4. Instruction – Teens may come off like prideful know it alls but they’re typically just really nervous, trying to find their way and looking for answers. Share everything you can about your faith, your values, and practical living. Hint*- when they look like they’re least attentive, might be when they’re listening the most.
5. Affection – They’re not too cool! Hug your teens often. They may bristle against it, don’t be deterred. They need it. If it’s a boy you might need to go from a headlock into a hug. That counts. My girls? I keep an arm around ‘em, hold their hand, give ‘em a kiss every chance I get. Does it embarrass them? Maybe, but it’s way down the list of things I do that embarrass them 😂 What fun is parenting if you can’t embarrass your kids! Ha.
Affirmation, discipline, grace, instruction, affection. There are many more, I’m sure. But parents, I hope you found these encouraging and helpful.
I’ve got 5 kiddos, 4 in double digits, my oldest will be 22 tomorrow 👴🏻 and one thing I’ve learned is that I’m STILL learning. 😅 It’s a journey and we’re not alone. We need the Lord every step of the way, and we need each other. ✊🏼