More than any time in their lives, teens need the love and stability of a family! Friendship with Mom and Dad is so important. Don"t let their "squirrely-ness" keep you from spending lots of time with these wonderful young men and women. Now is the time to enjoy what you have sown into their lives. And if there are problems, it is not too late to rebuild relationships.
Rules without relationship breeds rebellion, so take time to invest in your relationship with your teen. That way your young adult knows that you are for him/her and want only what is best. He/she can trust you to protect, guide, and release!
Home is the best place for a teen to be educated! In the family, there is the security of love and acceptance. Teen are testing their wings! Make sure that you are there to cheer them on and send them soaring.
Teens also need friends, good friends who will build them up, not tear them down. Get to know all of their friends well. Make those friends feel loved and accepted. I've always tried to let our home be a hang-out place where teens feel comfortable to hang out and have wholesome fun together.
In the teen years, my own children have each had their own struggle as they enter adulthood. Those struggles have included doubts, insecurities, anger issues, temptations, and a lot more. Those things don't bother me because I know they will come out on the other side loving Jesus and serving Him. It is important during those struggles to maintain a delicate balance of unconditional acceptance and house rules, as well as to listen to them and help them find answers to their questions. Most importantly, introduce them to Jesus who loves them best!
Teens need to know that serving Jesus is more than a list of don'ts, it's an exciting life of loving Jesus and extending His Kingdom. Dive into ministry together! I know fathers and sons who usher together, mothers and sons who play in a worship band together, families that evangelize together, and families who open their home for hospitality.
Celebrate holidays and birthdays in ways that your teens enjoy! We started a "Traveling Dinner" tradition on Christmas Eve years ago with another family. Even though today, our children are all teens and adults, they still love our Traveling Dinner. Our daughters started a tradition of making and serving breakfast in bed to the birthday girl or guy.
We tell our children: "In this house, we serve Jesus and this is what it looks like...." On the other hand, our children know they can talk to us about anything they have done, felt, imagined, or desire without judgment. We are on their team, cheering them on through this glorious, and sometimes challenging, time of transition.
Remember: Teens Need Their Families!
God bless you!
Here are some resources to help with the teen years. Just click on the photos for more information.