The Teen Years
Ahhh. They can be a joyful, rewarding season or a painful, humbling season.
And if you have a few teens, you can easily experience BOTH seasons all in the span of a day, if not a morning!
But, on Building Up Moms, I have seldom posted about parenting teens. I have written on this topic all of 1 time.
RELATED POST: Walking the Teenage Years
Why So Few Posts on Parenting Teens?
There are 2 main reasons why I don’t write much on it:
1. I don’t know what I am doing
It is true.
The teen years are unpredictable because teens are unpredictable.
One moment you think you have it nailed and the next you feel like an absolute failure. I don’t know how other mothers of teens feel but the moments I feel like a failure definitely exceeds the moments I feel that I have nailed it.
And because what “works” today may not the next, I don’t think it is responsible of me to share it as if it is even a solution. It could very well have been a fluke shot.
The **ONLY SOLUTION** I know that is trusted and true is to **COMMIT YOUR TEEN TO THE LORD**.
2. Respecting the children’s privacy
Not every teen wants to live out their lives online. Some don’t even want to have their photos taken, So, you can definitely expect them not to want to be talked about.
Not everyone likes their deeds to be broadcast online and in detail, whether positive or not.
An embarrassing story of how a baby decorated her baby cot with poop is endearing. But an embarrassing story of how a teen did something unwise is not. It is humiliating.
Just a heads up:
If you ever need to vent about your teen’s antics, share it in a safe place with a few close friends. Do not broadcast it to the world. You don’t want their potential employer, or angel investor in their future company or future in-laws reading about their antics, do you?
What I Have Learnt
To date, we have 4 teens in the house, and God-willing, by February 2018, we will have 5.
Girls and boys. All with different personalities and temperaments. All with different giftings and weaknesses.
This is what I have learnt and am still learning.
- Each teen is unique. Each family is unique – family dynamics play an important part.
- There really is no one-size-fits-all. Be wary of books/blogs/”experts” who claim that their method is THE way.
- Some teens are easier to handle than others. Some teens are easier to talk to than others. Some teens have more angst than others.
Not Yet in the Teen Stage?
If you haven’t hit the teen years yet, start focusing on building relationships. This and prayer will be what gets you through the teen years relatively smoothly.
If the Relationship is Broken
**Pray for reconciliation.** You may have to ask for forgiveness from your teen. And if you do not want to keep on apologising, choose your battles wisely.
Remember the toddler years of fighting with them about food or bedtime? Yeah. This time it may be over the type of music they listen to, their fashion style or lack thereof. Choose wisely.
**Learning to let go.** There comes a time where you will have to let them face the consequences of their choices. They will not always (or even often) take your advice.
They are finding their place in society. They are (necessarily) separating from us.
You will have to let them fall. Pray for God’s mercy upon them but let them fall. Because many things have to be learnt in real life and not just in theory.
Even when you don’t seem to see a difference.
The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
There is no other time than the teen years to heed this verse. Because there will be many times you really don’t know what to do. And there will be times they are not very lovable and you will not feel affectionate towards them.
There may be lots of, “Dear God, help me see my teen through Your eyes and not mine.”
But God has the answers and He loves them BEST. He created your teen. Ask Him for guidance and to lead you to the right godly counsellor/mentor/Titus 2 Woman, if necessary. Sometimes we need someone outside the family to set them on the right path.
I apologise if you had come over hoping that I would reveal some secret to raising awesome teenagers. I am no keeper of secrets. I can only keep pointing you back to God.
However, I do promise that when my season with my teens has passed, I will share. But since my youngest is only 8, don’t hold your breath waiting for it, ok? 😛
Instead, turn to God, trust His goodness and faithfulness. Keep close to Him because He’s got this!
Walking the Teenage Years
Do We Still Need a Titus 2 Woman?
Monica, the mother of St Augustine – A Portrait of a Praying Mother