Tuesday July 27 2021

10 Things Your Teenager Wished You Knew – Part 2

2. Walk the Talk (smash hypocrisy in your life)

We can’t expect our kids to live any different to how we are living. Over the years I have had many parents come to me with teenagers who are living wildly wondering how to get their children back on track. Quite often, I have found that the children are just following mum and dad.

You see when our children are young, they will listen to us even if we are doing exactly what we are telling them not to do. BUT, as they grow older, as they watch our every move. It is very easy for them to see whether we are walking the talk, or if the rules that we set for them in terms of alcohol, relationships, money and language match up to how we are living. They are experts at seeing hypocrisy in our lives. This will most definitely have an impact both on how you build a healthy relationship with your teen, and the type of people they become.

There are of course situations where it seems parents are doing everything right, and their child is still off course. I encourage parents facing this to keep loving. Continue to live without hypocrisy. Trust that your child will soon turn the corner. We pray and ask the Lord for His help.

Growth Step: Assess the rules you have for your teenager. Take note of any areas where you need to walk the talk. 

3. Second Place for the Win (The Power of a Strong Marriage and Excellent Friendships)

I understand that parents will find themselves in so many different situations. 

Maybe you are reading this post and you are single parenting because your marriage partner has passed away, or you have experienced the pain of a divorce. In Zimbabwe many people also find themselves parenting alone as a spouse has to work outside the country for many months to put food on the table. My heart hurts deeply for each of you, and I am praying for strength and courage for you.

It is vitally important for our children to know that they do not take absolute priority. If you are married, they need to know that they take 2nd place when compared to your marriage. As a married Christ-follower, they need to know they are in 3rd place! If you are single parenting, you may have other close friendships that fill an incredible support role in your life and your children need to know that those are very important.

Parenting is not easy, well done!!

A secure teenager will more often than not emerge from a secure family environment and single parents, know that this is still very possible for you! Don’t lose hope. There are multiple ways for your child to look to healthy marriages and relationships. It will just take you being intentional about who you spend time with and connect them with.

If our children take up all of our focus, all of the time, we are not setting them up for the best launch into adulthood. I can guarantee you that the best and most secure way to build a thriving relationship with your teenager, and to see them excel, is to focus on building great marriages and excellent friendships. I wrote an article on building friendships that you can access here.

Growth Step: Spend some time as a couple checking in to make sure that your marriage is more important than your children. How are you showing that to them? If you are a single parent, are you ensuring that you still have time for excellent friendships in your life? There is an absolutely brilliant website called Family Life that has some very useful resources and building a strong marriage and raising children as a single parent.