October 16, 2006

Turbulent Teens and Tired Parents

What is a parent to do when his teenager won't listen to him?

The parent is to be content with the fact that he or she has TRIED to teach that child right from wrong and express these things to that child.

What the teen then does with these truths is beyond the parent's control.

This is what God always does with us.

He steers us in the right direction, he tells us the way to go, and then allows us to make our own decisions. When a child becomes a teen and then enters adulthood, hopefully they will remember these things and will make the right decisions when confronted with tough choices in life.

I realize this sounds very good and makes sense, but saying it and doing it are two totally different things. Being a parent is NEVER easy. Anyone who tells you this is off their rocker.

I consider myself a "good" parent. Not a perfect parent. There are no perfect parents around that I know of. I have raised my children to know the Lord, to make the choices that would be beneficial to themselves and others. I have instilled in them the importance to treat all people with respect and love. I have gone over the list of dangers if they do drugs, steal, lie and so on. I have told them all of these things and backed up my words with my own conduct as well. After all of this being done, I still am not a perfect parent and yes, my teens have not had a perfect and easy life. They have nonetheless at times made harmful choices in their lives, but they have made right ones and beneficial ones as well. Do I regret raising them as I have? No.

Your teen will make the wrong decisions from time to time. This is all a part of growing up and learning from our mistakes. When I was a teen, I thought I knew more than my parents did. My own children grew up, became teens and did the same thing! This is just something that all of us go through during the turbulent teenage years.

It is not a cakewalk, raising a child and especially raising a teenager. Kids are now faced with much temptation for wrongdoing. I feel for them all. There were temptations that I faced when I was a teen as well.

Teens and their struggle for independence from mom and dad will cause conflict

One thing I have learned from raising teenagers is this:

Once the child reaches the teen years, there is a time in which they will not get along with you even though previously you shared a very close relationship. This new conflict will most likely come out of the blue. The reason is because they are feeling out their independence, they want to express that independence and you, their parent will not understand nor like this. I didn't like it. I felt that they were growing away from me when all they were truly doing was trying to gain that independence. Looking back now, I felt a little resentful because I didn't understand this at the time. I didn't know what I had done to them that they would distance themselves in this way. Now I understand that the independence thing is one that happens to all teens and their parents. So don't take offence at this when it happens with you and your child.

Do you have an uncontrollable teen?

Tips for dealing with an out of control teen:

Many teens who are out of control got that way over a period of years, not weeks or months.

In most instances, they got that way because the parents gave them too much freedom with little or no boundaries.

So it can come as no surprise that once you try to introduce rules or boundaries, your teen is going to flip out on you. This shouldn't surprise you one bit.

The important thing is that you be consistent with discipline. If you are strong with them one moment and weak with them the next, they will know that you are wishy washy and they can get by with whatever they choose to do. They will see you as a pushover. What a lot of it boils down to is how much are you as a parent up for? Are you content to let them do their own thing and continue on a destructive course, or are you willing to be strong and take initiative, set boundaries and be consistent with your discipline?

Some say that once a child becomes a teen and has not had much discipline and godly teaching in their lives, that there is little hope for them. I would rather believe that there is always hope! I think that anything is possible with God and with us as parents changing our course and getting on the right track.

With that said, just know that if your heart and actions and good intentions are involved in these things, there will be a positive outcome for you and your teen.

Yes, the teen years are turbulent and they will always make the parents tired. But you don't have to allow these years to do you in.

No comments: