TALK ABOUT THIS // WEEK 1:
Your teenager is juggling a lot: school, friends, dating, social media, sports, clubs, family, and maybe even a part-time job. As parents, it can be hard to keep all of this in mind sometimes—especially when our own stresses feel so overwhelming. This week, instead of asking how their day was, ask what they’ve been worried or thinking a lot about. Resist offering advice unless they ask for it.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 NLT
Create a “share your cares” text thread for your family. A couple of mornings each week, send a message asking your family what they’re worried or stressed about. Sometimes just sharing what’s on our mind helps alleviate anxiety. Plus, you can encourage each other specifically throughout the day.
“Mom, Dad, there’s something I need to tell you . . .”
When it comes to parenting, very few phrases strike terror at the heart of a parent. Its right up there with the question, “Are you sitting down?”
Both phrases typically follow not-so-good news and imply that the receiver of the news should be immediately prepared for the unexpected. Finding out something that you did not expect from your kids can be anxiety provoking and yes, could even trigger a physiological response such as fainting or difficulty catching one’s breath—hence the importance of having a seat close by.
While rewarding, the arena of pre-teen and teen parenting is fraught with difficult and sometimes disappointing situations. Children get injured, suffer minor illnesses, get heart broken, or even worse, engage in potentially addictive or sexual behaviors that could adversely impact their future.
The number one job of a parent is to protect. But the fact remains that you cannot protect your child from everything. In today’s fast-paced world, it is likely that your child will be faced with increased pressures and even more challenging situations than we adults could ever have imagined being a part of when we were at that age.
No parent was born knowing exactly how to respond to such situations. The best shield is being as prepared as you can possibly be. Consider this response strategy:
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