Were you a  “pretty good” kid?

Were you honest with your parents?

Were you always honest, never lied?

Did your peer group’s opinions, beliefs, and actions influence you?

These are questions I ask parents of teens during a workshop or coaching session. I find it helps that ol’ parental frustration to put ones-self back into those smelly teen tennies.

Perspective, understanding, and empathy are what I hope to stir in moms and dads.

We made mistakes growing up.
We learned.
We grew.

We hope to save our kids from making the mistakes we made.

But those little stinkers just may make the same mistakes.
Some of us humans have to do life the hard way and experience things for ourselves.

And…like us, they will make mistakes.
And…like us, they will learn.
And like us, they will grow.

And it is OK.

During the times of trial, testing, and stretching teens need to know these 5 things about mom and dad:

  • We made mistakes too. 
  • Our love for them  isn’t dependent upon on their behavior.
  • We are here for them. We will love, encourage, coach, and advise.
  • We will not fix their problem, yet will will work with them toward a solution.
  • We will not rescue them from their struggle but we will stand with them in the mess. 
Love those big kids who still have little kid impulses and logic. Empower them to think. Don’t enable the behavior by rescuing or fixing. We desire to raise responsible adults. We hope to have a family made up of individuals who participate in family life, pitch in, and are purposeful in the way they love God and other.
There are lots of great things about the teen years. Teens are developing their sense of humor and can be very playful and funny.
Enjoy the laughter.
Stay calm in the storms.
Our young people are just trying to sort it all out.
Try and recall the journey. Remember the mile we have walked in their shoes. (But we did it without the influence and impact of social media.)
I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.


Proverbs 24:32

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Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash


© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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