Fathers are responsible for the training of their children, even if they aren’t with the child as much as the mother. Fathers are ultimately responsible before God for the whole family. The wife is under the husband’s authority, and she implements what they decide together. Still though, the father is the leader with oversight and responsibility to God.
Provoke means to not exasperate. It’s the command given to us as parents in Ephesians 6:4. That means don’t frustrate your teen with too high expectations, criticism without love, withholding love, inconsistency, rejection, over-burdening them with rules and regulations, expecting too much— expecting perfection, overprotecting, spoiling, being overly permissive or too severe.
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24
Teens need to feel loved and secure. In the absence of discipline, they will likely never feel either. Besides that, when we discipline in love it is an excellent example of how God treats His own children.
It's helpful to take note of the areas they choose to rebel in:
Ask yourself why your teen choose this area to rebel in?
Or, is there another reason altogether? It’s certainly something to consider. Pray and ask God for wisdom and insight. I always like getting to the root of the problem rather than snipping at tree branches in vain.
Pick your battles carefully! Never expect instant, immediate obedience in any area. If you get it, be grateful! They are no longer children, give them some space to exercise their own free will. If you can’t win a battle, don’t let it start. Decide what is major enough to make an issue of, and what isn’t. When you draw the line, do it with love, stick to it, and be consistent. Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8). Always, in as many ways as possible, assure your teen of your unconditional love.
Keep their emotional love tank full and overflowing!
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
When we must discipline, it’s so important for us to remember to use natural consequences instead of nagging, threatening or yelling.
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." —Frederick Douglass
Avoid power struggles and nagging at all costs!
Anything that makes your teen feel that you are treating them like a little child is going to be counterproductive. Be sure you don’t play favorites. Also, make sure you don’t expect more of one child than you do another.
The instruction of the Lord refers to training in a way that is preventative, so that correction isn’t as necessary. We accomplish this by our example as well as our words.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Communicate your feelings, emotions, struggles and difficulties with your teen. They will appreciate your transparency. Draw them out. Ask questions: How did that make you feel? Silently listen. Be very slow to give advice. Listen more than you talk.
"Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." (James 1:19).
Encourage them! It takes 99 compliments to make up for 1 criticism.
When you’ve blown it— and we’ve all been there, take responsibility for your part without blaming justifying, or making excuses. Ask forgiveness. Forgive yourself and re-establish communication. Make necessary changes so it doesn’t happen again. Be patient!
PRAY! Above all, over all, before all, during all, after all—pray, pray, pray, pray, pray and then pray some more.
So, how can we help our teens love God more?
How do you help your teen love God more?
3/19/2019 11:03:08 am
Getting to the root instead of snipping at branches! That's such a great image, and so true!
3/19/2019 02:23:30 pm
Yes is it Michele! :) Too many times as parents we just snip away at the branches when the problem is really in the roots.
3/19/2019 03:04:12 pm
Not just teens, great advice for all children. Even younger ones think they are grown and know more.
3/19/2019 03:47:37 pm
You are so right Rebecca! Great advice for all ages. I look back now, remembering how I thought I knew so much more than my parents, wow, was I ever dumb! LOL
Great advice for all of us with teens in the home! I was previously an empty nester, but now have my daughter and her 13 year old daughter living with us. So, reading this now is perfect timing!
3/19/2019 03:45:41 pm
Awwww.... thank you Jo. I love your blog. Happy to feature it!
3/20/2019 11:02:32 am
Thank you so much Tai! :) God bless you as well!
3/19/2019 09:48:30 pm
I can relate so well to this post. I pinned it so I can return to it again when needed. Notice I said when needed, and not if needed. "Treat your teen like an adult, but expect them to act like a child." Great words of advice. Hard, but a necessity. I still look at them as my babies:(
3/20/2019 11:41:01 am
Thanks Angela! I still look at mine as babies sometimes too. It's hard letting go and letting them grow. I know! Thing 4 will fly the coop next month. I just SMH as to how this all happened so fast.
A wise older woman told me about choosing our battles just as our kids were entering the teen years. She said, "If it's not illegal, if it's not immoral, not life threatening, not contrary to scripture, I don't have to like it but I can live with it." That has been a very valuable tidbit that has proven effective and preserved a healthy relationship with our kids.
3/20/2019 11:42:37 am
"If it's not illegal, if it's not immoral, not life threatening, not contrary to scripture, I don't have to like it but I can live with it." <— that's GREAT advice Jana!
3/20/2019 12:09:59 pm
As a mom of three teenage daughters (pray for me!! LOL) this is amazing wisdom!! It is really difficult, especially with my oldest teen, to treat them like adults but expect that childlike behavior! This is especially true when you have a very mature teen, like my 16 year old, who is far beyond her years in some ways, and yet still a child in other areas.
3/20/2019 01:15:38 pm
Oh Diane! THREE teen girls! Oh the drama! LOL Bless your heart! Thanks for tweeting— I'll get that click to tweet thing figured out eventually. :-/
This is such a wisdom filled guideline to help parents with teens!!! Parenting most of my teens was hard because my ex and I divorced when my oldest was 12. Then I got remarried and he had a young boy close to my middle two kids age. At one point we had 3 teen boys and 1 teen girl. It was tough with all the different personalities and my ex basically refused to co-parent and I never understood that. So consistency was hard with them being back and forth. Now that I have one teen and one tween left in the home full time, I'm able to be more consistent and it makes sooo much difference. I try as much as I can to let them know if I messed up with a reaction and I do encourage them often.
3/20/2019 01:18:31 pm
Thank you April! WoW! 4 teens in the same house. Consistency is so important, and at the same time so difficult. But as you say, it makes a difference.
3/20/2019 01:12:54 pm
I need all the help I can get with my teen. Thanks! Visiting you from the recharge wed. link up. laurensparks.net
3/20/2019 01:19:21 pm
Thanks Lauren for hosting your link-up!
3/21/2019 02:29:10 pm
My kids are past the teen years, but I work with teens (I'm a high school teacher). One thing I have learned is that I can shut down communication by using the word 'should.' Instead, I try to say, 'have you considered____'. It's been a revelation.
3/22/2019 12:08:04 pm
That's a great idea Anita! Thanks for sharing. Fun working with teens :) I just love them!
8/22/2019 01:33:31 pm
Love this, some really great ideas! I especially loved that you said, "Treat your teen like an adult, but expect them to act like a child." This is so true, a teen is leaning what it means to be an adult and they are aware that adulthood is right around the corner. They need to be able to test the waters, it gives them confidence in their ability to adult. Many Thanks 8)
8/27/2019 11:06:44 am
"...a teen is leaning what it means to be an adult and they are aware that adulthood is right around the corner. They need to be able to test the waters, it gives them confidence in their ability to adult.." That is so true Debra!
8/22/2019 03:00:15 pm
Patsy, this article is full of such wonderful advice. I pinned and plan on going back again and again.
8/27/2019 11:04:19 am
Thank you so much Angela! :)
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