Do you remember walking the hallways of your school, wondering where you fit in? As adolescents move into their teen years, peers take on a greater importance. They feel secure when they are accepted by a group of friends. Being on the outside of a group can be painfully lonely.
Some teens move from group to group trying to find a good fit. Unfortunately, they often quickly adopt the beliefs, attitudes, and world views of those groups while trying to avoid rejection. Your teenager may “try on” a number of different peer groups until they find what they think is “their group”. These changes may include the way they dress, what they listen to, and how they talk or act. While this may be “normal” behavior, their choices may not result in doing what’s right and following God’s Word.
So what’s a parent to do? Pay attention to the influences in your child’s life – who their friends are and what they are doing. This is a prime time to lovingly give your input on peer pressure, choosing good friends, decision making, honoring God, what healthy relationships look like, and more. Help them navigate through these turbulent waters instead of fighting with them.
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”
Proverbs 19:20-21 (ESV)
in HIS service,
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.