“My parents are so horrible to me. They just don’t understand me, and their rules arr so strict, it makes living at home so terrible. I just want to be with my friends, because they don’t judge me. My parents quote the Bible all the time and it just doesn’t help. I don’t hate them, and I can see they are trying, but I just need space”. This is what is being said in tens of thousands of Christian families, but sons and daughters of Christian parents.
Here is a typical letter sent into a family based website:
I am going nuts. I have a teenage daughter (age sixteen) who has turned into a totally obnoxious individual! She used to be a sweet girl, but for the past year or two, things have been getting more and more out of hand. I don’t think that I have made a request of her, made a comment, or tried to engage her in conversation without some kind of response that involved a major sigh, eye-rolling, or exasperation (“whatever”) in the tone of her response. It has gotten to the point where I spend very little time with her. I am really not interested in being with her, and, sadly, she doesn’t seem to want to spend time with me either. On the rare occasions that I have tried to spend time with her, it usually results in some kind of meltdown, and not just on her part. Is there anything that I can do in this seemingly helpless situation? Given Up Mommy
- Your parents are not your friends. But they care for you way more than your friends do. Your parents probably are battling to understand you but they are supposed to look at things differently.
- Your parents desire nothing but the best for you. You will argue a lot, and will will see things differently. But don’t attack their faith and say sorry often.
- Your friends are amazing and you love them. But friends are fickle, and you should not take their advice too seriously. They may love you much today, but in a few months time, they may have moved on. Your parents and the church are there to stay.
- Try not to become too silent. Speak your mind so that your parents can hear what’s on your mind, even if it’s not too pretty. It is still better than silence.
- The Bible is not there to make you miserable and your parents desire to bring you up in a way that God desires is good and right. Even if it feels uncomfortable, remember that you too will meet God face to face one day.
- Be fair to your mom or dad.
- Take your disappointments elsewhere – like to God through prayer
- No matter how responsible and grown up you thing you are, your parents are still the heads of your household. They are your authority. Even if you don’t agree with their rules the Bible still says you are to follow those rules.
Here are some things to think about if you are a parent of a Christian teenager
- This time in a child’s development wreaks havoc for your teenager. Their bodies are changing, hormones are surging, and their brains are rapidly evolving as well.
- Their sleep patterns are different, so they may sleep later in the morning and want to stay up late at night
- Make time every day to just spend time with your child every day
- Teenagers, like all of us, need to feel valued
- Make a point of reminding yourself everyday all of the positive aspects there are about him / her
- Building relationship takes time, energy, and patience. Invest in your relationship with him / her by remaining calm in the face of his / her distraught behavior
- Listen to your child
- Correct sparingly; affirm lavishly
The realization that your teen is “in the process of moving away from you” carries with it a blend of panic and relief. There’s panic in feeling a loss of control, and there’s relief in knowing that your teen is in healthy pursuit of an independent adult life. Recognize that you’re not alone in your struggles as a parent during this process, and be open to seeking outside support or counsel. Above all, seek God’s council through the Word and through your church support groups.
God loves you and your children. He loves family and wants to see you enjoy a happy family.
thanks to chabad.org