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2 Ways to Help Your Teen Grow Up

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So much happens between the ages of 12 and 15 that many parents of teenagers feel like they’re drowning for 4 years (and even longer,  depending on how many kids they have).

Do you feel a constant tension between holding on to your "baby" and training up a young adult?

While we all know that we’re raising our children to eventually leave our homes as adults, bridging that gap is often an arduous, stressful and confusing journey, filled with conflict.

This struggle will always be a tension to manage, but it doesn’t always have to be a war to wage.

Without a doubt, the most common conflict I observe  between parents and students is the battle for freedom and responsibility. The student believes he can handle more, but mom and dad don’t think he’s ready. This struggle will always be a tension to manage, but it doesn’t always have to be a war to wage. It is  possible to work as a team to help your student become a healthy, successful adult. 

Take a deep breath and try taking the following 2 steps: 

 

1. Embrace your new voice as a coach.

As your child becomes a teenager and then a young adult, your role and voice in their life change. At some point in the teenage years you transition to being a “coach” in their lives. Gone are the days of blind obedience and “because I said so.” Now you live in the world of mentoring, advice and guidance. Obviously you are still the parent and set the rules, but your voice is now one among many in his or her life. Yours is an important voice for sure, but not the only one. As your teen looks for freedom, she still wants to know what you think, but the final decision increasingly becomes hers to make.

This is a healthy part of growing up, but also a huge point of conflict when the parent and student aren’t on the same page, which brings us to the second step.

 

2. Look towards the future and carve out a path.

As a parent/coach, you can help your teen become an adult by working together to carve out a path of success.  You need these 3 ingredients:

  1.  Parents that keep their sights focused on the end goal of raising an adult,
  2.  A student that is willing to take on responsibility to gain freedom.
  3.  Open communication between the two about how this goal will be accomplished.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about:

Let’s say your teen wants to have her own phone. You may not be ready to give it to her right now, but because you’re focused on the end goal you have to admit that she’ll eventually get one someday in the future.

Instead of harping on how she is not mature enough yet, look into the future and carve out a path. Develop specific goals and expectations that she must meet in order to gain this new freedom. When she meets expectations, celebrate and be happy. When she doesn’t, hold her accountable to the agreed upon expectations and adjust accordingly.

This approach helps you to be proactive in the world of freedom and responsibility. It puts you in the position to grant a freedom to a responsible student as they succeed and hold them accountable when they don’t. You aren’t keeping them from their freedom because of a blurry set of rules about maturity; you’re putting the ball in their hands and letting them earn it as they prove responsible. 

 

Truthfully, none of this is novel or complicated. Every kid will eventually be off on their own as an adult and have to make their own decisions. The difference is looking ahead as a team instead of focusing on the past or even the present.

Having a future-focus will help your teen develop and progress into adulthood. Embrace the future adult in your house and coach them to victory.

 


Posted by Chad Moore with

How to Have a Happily Ever After

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Every fairy tale always ends the same way..."And they lived happily ever after."

 

We all know those stories are fantastical and completely unrealistic. And yet, we still want to have our very own "happily ever after," don't we? 

If you're married, do you remember all the dreams you held in your heart with excited anticipation as you eagerly said, "I do"? If you look forward to the prospect of marriage, you probably have dreams of what that life will be like. Whatever your "happily ever after" looked/looks like, it's often a hard-hitting realization when real life turns out quite different from what we had imagined and hoped for. 

 

 

Marriage is indeed meant for life ("until death do us part"), so how can it be as best as possible? Family life won't always be happy, but it can definitely be great! 

In this 3-part series starting Sunday,* Pastor Lincoln tackles 3 keys to a happy, healthy and hopeful marriage and family.

Watch the series trailer:

May 8:     “To Have and To Hold”
The essence of family is union: yoking yourself to another, but it is often blocked by self and by ignorance of the other person.  All people are unequally yoked to some degree.  Learn how to diminish it as much as possible and live together in closeness.  

May 15:    “Divided Loyalty” 
Being together is hard enough without being pulled apart by divided loyalties, one of the great stumbling blocks to a healthy marriage.  There can be no cleaving without leaving. Learn what that means.  

May 22:    “The Love of Your Life”
The Christian family is modeled after and directed by Christ’s relationship to the church.  To the degree these realities are true, a family has a chance to survive and thrive.  The secular family is increasingly a “negotiated deal.”  The Christian family is a trust and submit covenant.

JOIN US THIS SUNDAY (MOTHER'S DAY):

Blended Worship at 10:00am
Modern Worship at 11:30am

Sunday School at 8:45, 10:00 & 11:15am

*Moms, please stop by the Gathering Place for a special Mother's Day gift from Shandon!

Posted by Shandon Baptist Church with

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