Teenagers are such an anomaly they get their own blog today. Teenagers are obnoxious, rude, self-absorbed, spoiled, and pretty much disgusting creatures. Have you been in a teenage bedroom lately? There is no known cure, except time =) Now certainly my comments do not apply to your angelic teen… just everyone else.
I have had or do have teenagers! I am a qualified “expert” on the topic of teenagers. Expert, as in I have yet to figure out this entire seven year span in the life of my children. However, I’ve learned a few lessons in dealing with teenagers:
- Love is truly spelled T-I-M-E.
- Teenagers do not need mom and dad to be cool; they need mom and dad to be a consistent, faithful example.
- Puppy love is real for the puppy.
- Teenagers do NOT need every new electronic gadget that hits the market; they do need time with mom and dad.
- The evening meal should be in the kitchen/dining room - not in the bedroom or living room.
- The parent should be the same at church as at home – ouch! I’ve counseled dozens of teenagers who say they do not recognize the person at church. Don’t pretend to be one thing at church while your children know who you are at home. You will lose your children and all respect that they might have toward church and God if you live your life this way.
- Your teenager should have assigned responsibilities in the home: garbage, dishes, laundry, pooper scooper, vacuuming, cleaning, etc. Don’t pay your teenager to do natural responsible chores around the house.
- You must teach your teenager HOW to be an adult: cooking, ironing, paying bills, managing money, working, etc.
- Every parent should take his teenager on a mission trip and serve together for a week to ten days. It will cement the relationship for a lifetime. Allow your teenager to see you serving others in a difficult environment.
- Don’t give your teenager everything he wants; you CANNOT buy his/her love! Some of the best parent/teenage relationships are those who actually come from a poorer home where the parent and teenager spend time together.
- Don’t demand perfection from your teenager; last time I checked, there have been no perfect parents.
- Know where your teenager is at all times; know their friends; know what the activity is going to be; and be willing to say, “No, you are not going to do that!”
- Never punish your children by withholding them from a church or youth activity – it sends the complete wrong message. Take their phone, car, or computer privileges away if discipline is warranted.
- You do not need to spank your teenager! Spanking is for the younger, formulative years where you are trying to break the will. BTW, if you failed to do this as your child was growing up – I feel sorry for you during the teenage years.
- It is still okay to make your teenagers wear their clothes correctly – pull those britches up and maintain a haircut! Your teenager does not need body piercings and tattoos. In fact, if you are modeling and ensuring the correct friendships, this should not even be a problem in your home.
- Dad – keep an Internet filter on your computer!
- Dad – let your children hear YOU pray. It is a manly thing to do.
- Dad – include your children in your hobbies and be interested in their hobbies.
- Talk to your children about politics – don’t allow CNN, MSNBC, CBS, or ABC to dictate what your child believes. When you say Obama is a terrible President (and he is), then explain to your children the “why” he is most likely the worst President this country has ever known. Explain his radical social agenda and why we as believers cannot in a clear conscience vote for a man that represents such evil for Christianity. They need to hear this from you…
- Set up a checking account for your teenager and help him/her balance a checkbook and write checks.
- Teach your teenager to tithe and give offerings. Allow them to see that you do it.
- Don’t complain about church in front of your teenagers – their minds are impressionable and unknowingly you can turn their mind against the things of God.
Oh, I have more thoughts but I’ve hit the 700 word limit…