Being a parent can be challenging...especially if you have teenagers who are maturing and entering a fast-moving, complex world. How do you get your son or daughter ready? How can you help them hold on to their faith? How do you know if you’re doing a good job as a parent?
The good news is you don't have to be a perfect parent! Even good parents can learn how to connect with their son or daughter in deeper, more meaningful ways.
We invite you to follow along this FREE, 8-part video series (from Focus on the Family) called “8 Essential Tips for Parenting Teens” designed to give you practical, action-oriented steps for raising your teen. (Or you can sign up to have the tips sent directly to your inbox by clicking here). Teenagers need a lot — freedom and responsibility and encouragement and boundaries. But mostly, they need you!
Here are the 8 short tips that will be covered in this series:
Tip #1: Be Open With Your Kids about Your Imperfections
Tip #2: Nurture Your Teen’s Faith by Modeling Your Own
Tip #3: Stick With Your Teen Through the Tough Times
Tip #4: Keep Lines of Communication Open
Tip #5: Leverage the Uniqueness Moms AND Dads Bring
Tip #6: Encourage Your Teen to Grow in Their Strengths
Tip #7: Don’t Make Decisions for Them – Talk to Them About Values
Tip #8: Talk About Technology Use and Embrace the “Why”
Each week we will cover two tips.
In this first video of the series, teacher, author, and counselor Chip Dodd shares how being honest about our imperfections, as well as being real with our emotions, can help your kids grow up to be healthy adults. Good parents aren’t perfect. Living authentically can be a powerful tool in building relationships with your children and teaching them about Jesus Christ.
Just like their growing bodies, teenagers’ faith lives are changing too. Bible stories and silly songs are things of the past. Tough questions and personal decision-making are front and center now. The second video in this series features author Jessie Minassian, who says that building your kids’ faith begins with you. Let them watch you follow in Jesus’ footsteps and seek to be His disciple. An authentic, living faith will speak volumes!
Post-prom breakups. Season-ending sports injuries. Bombed mid-year exams. Your teenager is going to face setbacks and struggles and will wrestle with a spectrum of emotions — loss, grief, loneliness, guilt, anger. In video 3, counselor Chip Dodd shares a story about his own son and reminds you that you are uniquely positioned — as a mom or dad — to simply be present in your teen’s life. More than anything, he or she needs to know that you’ll be there.
Eyerolls and attitude are going to happen — because, hey, teens are going to be teens. But your communication with them is most effective when you purposefully connect with them, get into their world, and give them chances to earn your trust. In the fourth video of this series, author Jessie Minassian shares practical ideas for bonding. Ask questions casually. Prioritize one-on-one time. Discover their personality. Just have fun together.
Mom’s style and Dad’s way — they are definitely NOT the same. But BOTH offer something valuable to a growing teenager. Whether you’re part of a two-parent home or parenting solo, trust your unique strengths to breathe life into your child. In tip number 5, author Connie Albers says there is beauty in the varying ways parents seek to shape and care for their young adult’s tender heart.
For all the difficulties and dangers in the world, now really is an exciting time to be a teenager. Thanks to technology, there is great opportunity for young adults to be world-changers and kingdom-shapers for Jesus. In the sixth tip of this series, author Connie Albers encourages you to help your teen find their passions and discover how to use their talents to serve the Lord. Your voice means so much to them. What words will you speak into them?
You’re right to have concerns about what’s on social media these days. But using Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and other platforms wisely can be valuable teaching moments. In tip number 7, author Jonathan McKee shares that moms and dads can boost their teen’s maturity and growth by having everyday conversations about values and truths and reading God’s Word together. Then let go and let them make some choices — not just abide by your house rules.
Do you have rules for screen time? For cell phones? For Netflix? Parents today have to set a lot of boundaries, especially about technology in the home. In the eighth and final tip of this series, author Jonathan McKee says that you should have an ongoing family talk about the “why” behind those limits. If your teen understands the heart behind those guardrails, they’re much more likely to choose boundaries for themselves.
We hope you enjoy this parenting series!
Your Marriage, Family and Life team