Remember when you were a teenager? For me it was the awesome 80’s. Yeah, I’m old. Do you remember the self-consciousness? The physical self-awareness? Trying to be cool and turning out just dorky? Wanting to play like a kid but be treated like an adult? Being a good parent means being able to remember what it was like to live through the crazy teen years.
Do you remember spilling food or a drink on your pants and being absolutely terrified of what everyone would think? Do you remember looking in the mirror, on any given day, and absolutely hating what you saw? Or the next day, thinking how amazing you looked? Can you remember the feeling of liking someone and finding out they liked you too? Not just “liked you” but “like, really liked you”? These were big deals for us and we took them really seriously. When your teen son or daughter asks you out of blue if his or her nose looks weird, how do you respond? Do you take these moments seriously?
What are you Communicating?
If we fail to remember what a big deal these things were as teenagers we will fail to take them seriously with our own teens. In doing so, we minimize that they are important to us and we fail to communicate our love and care. Even worse we miss the opportunities to share that their heavenly Father and Redeemer cares and has the power and healing needed for a crushed and confused teenager. By really listening and seeing the importance of these moments we communicate that we are there to listen, love, support, and help them and not mock or dismiss them.
Opportunities not Trials
The problems and issues in your teenager’s life will pop up at the most inopportune times. They are not predictable nor are they convenient. Don’t make the mistake of taking the self-centered survival approach that merely wants to make it through these teenage years with your sanity and marriage intact. Remembering your own teen years will be a big help in the compassion department. Ask for God’s help, patience, compassion, and wisdom to see these moments as opportunities instead of trials.
This is the start of a new chapter in the book called “Parents, meet your teenager”. Over the next few weeks we will try to remember what it was like to be a teen and to think about how to make the most of the opportunities before us. I’m praying for you too. Let me know how I can help or better serve you and your family.
in HIS service,
P.S. The themes and main ideas come from Paul David Tripp’s book “Age of Opportunity”. I’m summarizing what I read, adding my own thoughts and Scripture too.
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