Parenting teens is hard work; it’s not like when they were pre-schoolers and you could simply pick them up no matter how much of a fit they threw. You can’t spank them, and talking to them sometimes turns into big-time drama or World War III. So, sometimes parents are just tempted to throw up their hands in despair and surrender, hoping against hope that their kids don’t get into serious trouble. Sadly, I’ve often heard the parents of successful teens, when they are being asked what they did to raise good kids, refer to themselves as merely lucky.
But raising godly teens isn’t about luck. It’s, among other things, about not giving up or surrendering your role as a parent — and praying for God’s blessings of protection and strength. I know what your kids say to their peers about their parents, and how they act when you’re around (rolling their eyes at every uncool thing you do) — we’ve all “been there and done that.” But did you know that in poll after poll teens tell us that their parents are the most influential people in their lives? And this is especially true for father (please go to the Focus on the Family website and do a search for “The Vital Role of Fathering 1” — and listen). You can’t give up; you have to “stay in the game”!
“So, what am I supposed to do, when my kid is resisting my every attempt to parent him?” One critically important thing to remember when it comes to parenting teenagers is that it takes a change in parenting style. When they were younger, you could essentially use your size on them in discipline situations. But as they begin to look the same size and weight as you, parenting and discipline approaches must change. The old “it’s my way because I’m the mommy or daddy” approach has to change to more of a mentoring and coaching role. Now that doesn’t preclude a stronger role, when necessary; but you will want to choose those battles carefully. And please notice that I didn’t say that your role becomes that of a buddy — there couldn’t be a bigger mistake that parents make than to become their children’s friend.
Don’t give up a parenting when your kids become teens. Stay involved, stay connected, even when they don’t seem to want you there. Secretly, they’re glad you’re there because you care