Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers #89 – Listen Before You Speak

Do you Listen? Really Listen? This is hard for many parents – me included! We know we have the answer. We know they haven’t thought it through. We know they don’t know what they’re talking about. So, we jump in and start spouting off before they are done talking. The Bible has a name for someone who speaks without listening and trying to understand: Fool! I don’t want to be a Fool, and I certainly don’t want to teach that to my kids by my poor example.

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)

Our teenagers are not adults yet. We can expect their discussions to be a mixture of developing logic and not quite there rationale, with immaturity, impulsiveness, and passion all thrown in for good measure. Quickly pointing out that (a) they have no ideas what they’re talking about, (b) they’re simply wrong, and (c) here’s the right answer will not go far in continuing a meaningful conversation. It will also serve to shut down future discussion.Listen first! And then when they know they’ve been heard and respected, they will be more likely to hear our personal advice, godly wisdom, and biblical truth.

The same good communication skills we develop and use in conversations with adults at work or elsewhere are often thrown out when we talk to our own children. This doesn’t make sense, but many of us are guilty of it.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;”  James 1:19 (ESV)
in HIS service,

Pastor Mark

P.S. The blog titles and main ideas come from Walt Mueller’s book “99 Thoughts for Parents of Teenagers”. I personalize and modify the message, and also add Scripture.


You can read past posts on our church website HERE.