Parenting Through High School: Loving Your Child Through All the Teenage Problems - Finds.Life.Church

Parenting Through High School: Loving Your Child Through All the Teenage Problems

by Deidra Livingood

Teenagers are like preemies. They’re premature adults who haven’t fully developed. As a result, they need extra attention and special care. If you’re like me, you may have imagined that as your child got older, they’d need less attention and care, but I’ve found that is simply not true. Sure, your premature adult can make their own sandwich and may even shave their own body hair, but in order to navigate all the​ teenage problems​, it’s all hands on deck.

When I was a teenager, I vowed to become the the type of parent that I desperately wanted: cool, laid back, understanding. Spoiler alert! I did not become that super-chill parent. Instead, I was your standard frustrated and stressed variety. Can you relate?

My teenager and I clashed on many levels. There was chronic tension in our relationship. I was tired of the defiance, attitude, and disrespect (among other things). I didn’t know how to get through to her and the challenges seemed overwhelming. But just when I wanted to throw in the towel, I found some help for loving my child through all the ​teenage problems. ​That’s when things started to turn around.

To begin, God revealed to me the ​real​ issue He wanted me to address. Turns out, it wasn’t teenage problems​. It was parent problems. God brought me a lot of correction and encouragement through this Bible Plan. I was doing what so many of us well-meaning parents do. I was so concerned with her behaviors and decisions that I forgot about what matters most—her heart.

Often, the majority of our parenting effort is spent teaching and correcting, but there is so much more to it. Parenting isn’t just discipline and guidance. It’s the art of tending to the human heart. In our deepest of hearts, we all crave love and relationship. It’s how God designed us. Your teenager may be pushing you away, but in their heart they still desire a relationship with you. A relationship that goes beyond teaching and correcting. Do they still need your guidance, boundaries, curfews, and challenges? You bet. But they’re more likely to actually follow your parental guidance if you develop a real friendship, too.

These four questions reveal four key components to building a strong relationship with your teen.

Loving your child through all the teenage problems becomes a blessing when you tend to the heart of your premature adult. Our God has always cared more about our hearts than anything else. “… For God sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB 

Similar Topics: