Posted by : Blyton Pinto | Parenting
The terrible teens. This is what parents of teenagers would probably like to refer to their teenagers as. Sometimes teens do things that parents would prefer them rather not. But do you know, at the same time there are things that parents should never say to their teenagers?
At the time of writing this article, two of my kids are teenagers. For them, it’s a wonderful stage in life, full of hopes, dreams, and ambitions. It’s time for my teens to slowly venture out of the secure nest that we built for them and explore the world. We parents are happy for our kids but at the same time, we are aware of the dangers they will be exposed to as well as the parenting challenges that we ourselves face, during this phase.
For most parents and teens, this phase is characterized by arguments, back talking and heated exchanges over choices, permissions, careers or friendships. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be alarmed about. However, it is very important to remember that words have power; to build or destroy.
In this article, let's see how we should use words to build and not destroy.
How powerful are words?
Proverbs 15:1 - “ A mild answer turns away wrath, but sharp words stir up anger”
Proverbs 18:21 - “Death and life are in the gift of the tongue, those who indulge it must eat the fruit it yields”
The power to choose how we use our tongues is with us. How should we respond?
Ephesians 4:29 - “No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others and do good to your listeners”
How do we apply this verse to the context of raising teens?
We have seen above that sharp words spoken by us to our teens can stir their anger and place them in a situation where they could sin. What do we deserve if we cause our teens to sin?
Mark 9:42 - “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea”
Really strong words. Do we even realize the power of these words? When faced with tough moments with our teens, what should parents do or rather what not do?
Colossians 3:21 - “Parents do not irritate your children or they will lose heart”
Have you experienced how difficult it is to keep your calm and sanity when having an exchange with your teen? As I said earlier, it's perfectly normal to get angry but it is important that we do not sin in our anger.
Ephesians 4:26 - “Even if you are angry, do not sin; never let the sun set on your anger or else you will give the devil a foothold”
Then how do we convey our message to our rebellious teens?
1 Peter 5:3 - “Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock”
What example do we set and how do we do it?
Ephesians 6:4 - “Parents, never drive your children to resentment but bring them up with correction and advice inspired by the Lord”
Parents and teens will have arguments and one or the other will get angry. But remember, don't destroy the spirit of your teens by your sharp words or domination. Don't corner them against a wall, rather give them a way out - choose a path that is mutually acceptable. Teens actually respect boundaries, if they are set and governed by love. Let your intention not be to hurt them but to build them up.
What are your experiences raising your teens? How do you tackle explosive situations? Probably you may know a trick or two that could benefit the community.
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