So when it comes to parenting our teens and students what are we to do as a parent?
As a parent we are the ones that have to model responsibility, self-control and honor in front of our students. Parents have to live what they are teaching their teen. In other words it is NOT do as I say and but do as I do.
One of the ways to help you with your student is for you to take a trip down memory lane.
True you have never been a teenager during the current turbulent times that your teen is living in, but remember you were a teen dealing with some of the same things your student struggles with. Self esteem, a sense of belonging, fear, and not knowing who we are in Christ are true for any age; adults as well. But know this, "The more you can recollect how you felt and what you did then, the better a parent you will be"
It is difficult for your teen in living every single day during the teen years. But parents that recall their past tend not to judge their teens too harshly for being teens; of course they can't be too lenient either thinking they are just kids. Parent recall your memories but it is not necessary for you to air your dirty linens in front of your student. They don't need to think they have to out live YOUR past too.
Because you have a past you can better empathize with your teen and recall what it was that helped you through those times in your own life. See if you can recall:
- Who stuck with you without giving up on you?
- What truths helped you make sense of the world?
- What did you learn from the consequences of your actions?
So Dad and Mom I want you to think back to your time as a teen. Think about when you were certain ages and then think how you REALLY were. You may have to journal, that is writing things down so you will remember. Maybe you should meet with other adults, or groups of adults for coffee and talk about your teen years. You can think about how you are the way you are because of your past. Maybe you have thought about your teen years and have decided to never go there again. If this is you, be careful, because you may be thinking that my child will never be this like I was and I'm going to make sure of it!
Parents it's tough to be a parent but you have to look at the long haul for your student. So when you have that next blow up, argument, or knock down and drag out fight remember to extend grace to them. That doesn't mean that students don't have to be responsible for the consequences of their actions but grace can still be extended to them. Remember that these years are hard for them like never before as they grow and prayerfully mature.
I know it's hard but it is still rewarding. Remember, "It Starts At The Top"