Wednesday July 21 2021

10 Essential Things Your Teenager Wished You Knew – Part 1

Introduction

I can’t wait to dive into this blog post on 10 essential things your teenager wished you knew! BUT, you may be wondering if reading yet another article on the topic will really be worth your time. I understand that. We are bombarded with information all day long. So a few quick questions for you to think through…

  • Do you ever feel slightly apprehensive about parenting through the teenage years? 
  • Are you feeling that you aren’t connecting with your teenager and would like to improve that relationship?
  • Does it feel like chaos has descended, you just can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, and panic is rising!
  • Or possibly your children are younger, but you are actively wanting to grow in your parenting to adequately prepare for the season ahead?

If any of the above apply to you – then this post is for you! 

Throughout the years, I have found that the same sorts of issues surface between teenagers and parents again and again. They bring conflict, misunderstandings, emotional hurt and frustration. I have no doubt that as you look at these 10 things your teenager wished you knew (and take some action steps provided) – you will experience growth in your relationship. There will be no instant quick fix solutions. There is no one size fits all approach and this will take effort. But, the results could be incredibly rewarding!

One final introductory note: I am a follower of Jesus. This means that I will speak from that perspective and use some biblical references. But if you are not a Christ-follower please do read on. I trust this 10 things your teenager wished you knew will still be valuable regardless of your faith position! – Craig Roberts – UPLIFE Zimbabwe

1. Get solid on your identity as a parent first

We will never be perfect as parents. But, it is so important to deal with personal issues in our own lives before we try to sort out all of the ones that we see in our children’s. It reminds me of the good old splinter in someone else’s eye compared to the log in your own verse from the bible. (Matthew 7:3-5)

I have spent much time watching dads shouting at their sons on the sports field. It is clear that it really the dad’s identity that is at stake pending the result of the game. It may be that the dad didn’t do as well as he could have at school, or may want to share about his son’s ability with his friends in order to gain affirmation. 

The bottom line is that it is an issue of identity for the parent.

Maybe your identity issues stem from a lack of purpose, low self esteem or an area of pain in the past. Whatever it is, get help and get it sorted. This won’t happen overnight, but ensure that you are acknowledging areas of your life that need attention and doing something about them.

If you are struggling in those areas, it will overflow into other aspects of life, and most certainly into your parenting. It will be very difficult to build a healthy relationship with your teenager if you are operating out of hurt, desperation for affirmation, depression and the list could go on! 

Growth Step: Take some time out to assess any blind spots in your own life and make a decision to work on them. Seek help if you need. There is no shame in that at all.