I am seeing so many teens that are going wayward. It’s difficult to be a parent today with all the media and outside influence. I am a single mother of two teens and I honestly feel like giving up sometimes and letting them do whatever they want. To be a good parent today is like pulling teeth. It’s not easy! I feel defeated and having teenagers has got to be the most difficult parent time as I have dealt with yet.
I just want to put out a few ideas and if you have some, please post it in the comments. I don’t like complaints without solutions so let’s always have a plan.
- Direct some of their time to helping others. Give them chores and ask them to help. Ask them to help you fix things or help you prepare things to give out for donations. Ask them to check on an old person or to walk the dog. Sometimes they whine or pout or make excuses but it helps so I say, you can use the computer if you take the dog for a walk…..and then they do it. Get them in the habit of giving and helping.
- Make a time for things. I say, “you can’t watch TV all day…..it’s reading time”. Be consistent or they will automatically go back to being a couch potato. They always whine and make it difficult but eventually they do it. Don’t let the whine stop you….it’s their teen tactic and weapon….lol. 8 pm is for reading. 4 PM is for homework, 6 PM is for dinner. 9:30 is bed time. Their internal clock clicks and it stays.
- Pass down some traditions. Saturday Morning have them help make breakfast until they memorize the recipe. Teach them how to sew or build something. Make them hand you tools as you fix the sink. Ask them to clean up the spiderwebs in hard to reach places. Teach them how to make things not buy things as gifts. Invite their friends and make cookies. If you are a man, go build something. Show them how to change the oil and then go do it for a single mother or an old neighbor. They might give you something and they might not. Do it for the smiles. If you don’t pass down cultural things, they will play video games ALL DAY or start doing stupid things. There are NO good teen role model celebs on TV or radio.
- Dress the part. Don’t let them wear saggy pants showing underwear or tank tops. No face piercing, no tattoos. Liberal parents let their kids mess up pretty bad and it does not prepare them for the work place or finding a decent spouse with morals. It’s a waste of money. Tell them why girls should not wear shorts or short skirts or show too much skin because that is the treat for their husbands and not the whole world and you don’t want them to marry a girl who looks like a hooker. If you keep your mouth shut they will look like hookers and drugs addicts. They will hang out with those type of people too. The outside culture is strong and they want your kids to have sex before marriage and experiment with their sexuality and think it is cool to attract others by looking like drug addicts and whores.
- Lead by example. Let them see you pray and read the bible and donate to charity. Let them see you talking to homeless people. Cook them cultural food so they know their ancestry. They will desire it more than American food. I know I do and so do my kids. Watch the news or a documentary together, even better, with the grandparents. I always like to give the boys wisdom and lessons while driving. Best place ever. Be careful how you say it because kids can be moody especially when they are teens. They are emotional volcanoes sometimes. Try not to cuss, they won’t cuss if you don’t. Make it a taboo in the house and be completely surprised and upset if they cuss. Once in a while it comes out of me believe it or not and they always mention it and repeat it right after. They are like parrots when it comes to cussing. Avoid it like the plague! Let them see you clean and do useful things…. you dont want them to see a mother who sits on the couch watching TV, gossiping on the phone, cussing, smoking, drinking, looking like a slob, eating junk food and letting the house look like a mess. Always look neat and clean and speak intelligently. Don’t let your kids speak slang. They will never get a decent job or spouse that way. Speak clearly and teach them to look people in the eye when they speak and to not interrupt and rather to say “OK, Mom, OK, Dad, OK Grandma, OK Grandpa” or “Yes, Ma’am, Yes, Sir” after you tell them something. Teach them how to respect their elders and to be patient, kind and respectful to older folks.
- Praise them when they do well. Let them be king for a day when they get good grades. My son loves praises when he does well and he is already 14. It doesn’t stop when they are 7. Those little things matter. He is down in the dumps if he comes home with a good test score and shows me and I change the subject. I guess it is all about earning a good reputation and earning respect. I learn as I go too. Acknowledging their accomplishments helps them want to repeat the good behavior. Grandpa gives them money too…. I’m sure that helps them. LOL
- Shut it off. If I see them watching anything with cussing or adult scenes, the TV goes off. They already know it’s not allowed. If you let them watch filth, they get desensitized to the shock of it too. My kids know better than come home with vampire and witchcraft books. Tell them why and don’t just ban things. They will just think you are being over the top if you ban something without telling them why. Make the reason short and factual and be serious without smiling. If they argue about it, be prepared. Your kids were taught atheism and told witchcraft is interesting to read about in public school. Public school takes more work at home to deal with. The ideal is homeschool but if you can’t, it’s not easy to deal with because your kids will be bombarded with stupid lies. You have to counter it and explain things more. We are not animals, other books exist other than Harry Potter, Obama is not the king, Communism and Socialism are not good. Oprah is not our reading material selector. It is not homophobic to believe homosexuality is wrong. White races are not responsible for slavery of the past and don’t need to keep saying sorry about it. Allah is not our God. Kids are not expensive and it is not wrong to have a big family. Sex is between a husband and a wife and we don’t need any lessons from school on anything concerning sex. “All lives matter” not just one race. Babies are people even when they are in the womb….. I can think of a lot of things, I better stop.
Hope that helps.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Is your family in crisis? Are the relationships you have with your children perhaps not what they should be? Are you concerned about a child that is making wrong decisions? Is rebellion by one or more children an issue and creating stress? The Bible tells us to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord but how do we go about doing that? What if our kids just won’t listen?
If one or more of these questions describes your household, this Crosstalk provided some answers as it presented Mark Massey as the guest. Mark is the director of Victory Academy for Boys, a group of God-loving, discipleship professionals dedicated to strengthening families in crisis with the truths of Scripture.
Is there hope for the home going through crisis? Mark believes there is via accountability with godly people and keeping yourself immersed in the truths of God’s Word.
Mark noted that the pressures that teens are experiencing are the same as they’ve always been but they come out in peculiar ways within the context of the current culture. For example, he sees today’s teens struggling with the reality of God yet they are greatly affected by the influence and impact of the media, particularly through the gateway of the Internet. This forms the view of reality for young people and where God fits. That’s important because for the young person God doesn’t generally fit in the movies, social media or the sexual struggles. In the end, God gets sidelined. So Mark sees reality of God as key to helping young people.
Another point he explained in greater detail was the sexual struggle. In times past, this was something that went unexplained in the context of many families. It’s out in the open today. On the positive side it gives us a chance to deal with it but on the other hand Mark described this topic as being so ‘out there’ that our kids are having to deal with a lot of ‘trash.’
Acceptance and security is also important for youth. You may have been brought up to be quiet and just accept what your parents said as real and right. However, today with the Internet and the hyper-exposure to communication, the thought of just accepting what is true just isn’t going to happen. This means kids have to somehow be able to question things yet still feel secure and accepted.
Mark brings help and hope for struggling families by also looking at:
–The ‘Where did I ever go wrong?’ question put forth by some parents.
–Facing the reality of the importance to teach our children what they need to
know about God right now.
–What to do when a child doesn’t respond to training in the truth.
–The Wild Heart Adventure camp.
Victory Academy for Boys
Wild Heart Adventure Camp