Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers #76 – Slow It Down!

Just when we’re tempted to speed it up, we need to slow it down.

So you’re wondering when your teenager is going to finally “grow up”? Maybe you’ve asked him “Why don’t you grow up?” You wish this awkward, difficult, and sometimes frustrating phase would pass? Guess what – so do they!

Most teens want to appear, act, and be treated older than they actually are. Our 12-13 year-olds want to be 17. Our 17 year-olds want to be 20. Unfortunately the marketers know this fully well and are pushing them to dress and act a levels that are way beyond their maturity and/or inappropriately altogether. The gap between real age and aspired-to age narrows as kids get older. I recall often wishing I was older and done with school, college, etc. It’s easy to focus on the next thing so much that we don;t enjoy and appreciate where God has us now.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
1 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV)

Don’t rush them! While we need to train our children to act responsibly and should treat them with respect and dignity, we don’t want to cave in and go too fast. Protecting their innocence and preparing them for the future are both important goals. Have you watched Toddlers & Tiaras, our junior cheerleaders, or even the old Little Rascals? It’s one thing to play dress up or act like an adult for play time; it’s another thing to make that a lifestyle.

Questions to consider:

  1. Is my child ready for this responsibility?
  2. Am I ready for them to have this responsibility?
  3. Will jumping too soon into a particular life stage send unintended messages to my child about self-image or materialism?

SLOW IT DOWN and don’t let them or make them grow up too fast or too soon.

I’m praying for you and for your teenagers(s). Please let me know how I can better serve you and your family.

in Christ,

Pastor Mark