Parenting teens is a difficult task, but these six facts will give you practical guidance for raising godly teens in a secular world.
Fact #1: Parents who mentor should have the loudest voice
Someone is going to influence your teen to think the way they think. Whether it’s peers, hollywood, bloggers…That’s why, as a parent, your goal has to be about having the loudest voice in your teen’s life. You have to be the primary influencer to offset the other voices.
Fact #2: Parents who mentor help their kids develop their identity
Your teenager is in a stage of spreading their wings, thinking for themselves and wanting to answer the question, “Who am I?”. Erik Erikson would say your teenager is in the identity stage of their emotional development. They’re starting to think more independently. They have a desire to be viewed less as a kid and more like an adult. Parents need to point their teens toward the things that promote a healthy identity.
Fact #3: Parents who mentor guide their kids toward independence
You need to recognize that your role as their parent needs to change. You have to transition your thinking from seeing your teen as just a kid who still needs to be told what to do. Give them some room to explore and even allow them to make a few mistakes so they can mature through the process.
Fact #4: Parents who mentor are a trusted guide and counselor
Show your teen that you care about their thoughts and feelings. Earn their trust that you want to give them more input in the direction of their lives. Your role is more of a counselor who listens to their heart and helps them set a course in the direction they should go.
Fact #5: Parents who mentor lead with a purpose and a plan
Take some time to think about what your goals are for your teen. Who do you want them to be at school, at home, with friends. What do you hope for them in the future? Talk to your teenager about what they want for their life? Establish goals and come up with ways to teach and train your teen to go that way. Don’t just wing it.
Fact #6: Parents who mentor model a pursuit of God
Don’t be hypocritical. Model for your teen what you are asking of them. You should model a pursuit of God in your own life so it’s more natural to encourage it in the home. Take time to do family devotionals, encourage times of prayer, read the Bible, and go to church regularly as a family.
Deuteronomy 11:19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Of the 6 facts, which one stands out most to you?
- Have you had any mentors in your life? (work, parent, friend) What impact did they have on you?
- What do you think about the idea that you should be a mentor to your teen? How is that different than just being a parent?
- Read Proverbs 22:6. Some people believe this proverb is a promise for good parents. Do you agree? What do you think it’s saying?
- List the benefits to parenting with a plan. What are some potential problems for not having a plan?
- What do you think your purpose should be as a parent to your teen? What do you hope they learn from you?
- Read Deuteronomy 11:18-20. What could this look like, practically, in your home? How can you bring more of God into your home?
- Do you currently model a pursuit of God in your home? Why or why not? What are the benefits of you modeling reading your Bible or praying?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.