Parenting Teens Image

Courtesy David Robert Bliwas License Creative Commons 2.0

Is parenting teens supposed to be easy? Do your kids ever give you attitude?  Incredible as it may sound, our two who have crossed the magic line into “teenhood” do occasionally give my wife and I some tone. Some ‘tude.

Recently, my 15-year old son was upset with us and gave his mom a look.  She has warned him before about this look – a blank stare directly at us when he is being corrected.  His defense?  “But Mom, this is a monotone face”.  It was all I could do to keep from laughing hysterically.  Unfortunately, laughing during a disciplinary moment tends to undermine both the emphasis of the discipline and my wife’s mood….
The incredible thing is, my son was dead serious.  He wasn’t meaning any disrespect with the “monotone face”.

Teens Don’t Quite Get it…..Yet

Yeah, I know, teens are growing up, learning to think for themselves and apt to question us more than when they were younger. We try to keep from reacting to comments that aren’t quite as socially polished as they one day will be. You don’t get ticked when a hot dog at a ballgame comes in a ketchup splattered cardboard container. If you were expecting fine china, your expectations were misplaced. So it is with teens and social skills.

The day will come – by faith, when the developing years are behind us and we long for this time. When we watch them attempting to parent their children and try to suppress hysterical laughter (I feel that glare from my wife again…..). When the miracle of what God has helped them become and its fruit is readily apparent to anyone who cares to pay attention.

They will make it through.

Parenting Teens? Get Some Help

Parenting teens feels like a tightrope most of the time. We want them to trust us and know that we are available when “issues” or questions arise. At the same time, the urgency to direct and instruct them as our time with them runs out has only increased. My oldest turns 16 in two months. Where did the time go?

They are going to have to answer for themselves soon enough, before man and God. We desperately want them to be ready to answer well. For their actions and words to reflect the beauty and strength that God has put in them. For their unique gifts to be tools in the hands of their Designer and for them to feel the joy of walking the path He set for them. To guide them well is our primary task. To act out of love, not fear. To be available when they need us. To point them to the ultimate Source of good and love.

Still, parenting teens is like trying grow marijuana undetected in the middle of a shopping mall planter. It may be possible, but you’re going to need an inside Man, and a miracle or two, to pull it off. Without God? I don’t see it working out well.

…If We Look Overwhelmed…

With three kids we are outnumbered by one and forced to play zone defense instead of man to man. We are also in the process of adding a 15-year old German exchange student to the mix, which will push us into a parenting teens prevent defense, one assessing and tackling the best they can, the other left to run down any trouble that gets by the first.

May God be with us.

May He be present in my kids thoughts, hearts and minds.  May we find a way to honor Him with the way we parent.

Who am I kidding? God – help!

A belated Happy Mother’s Day and best wishes to you and yours,
Jeff McKinney
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Jeff McKinney

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Jeff McKinney
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