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Dear Parent,
I hope you have had a chance to watch this month’s video! It’s all about the difference between controlling and guiding your teenager. And I think that is a pretty important topic!

It can make the difference between a healthy, growing relationship or a struggling one with your teenager! Now we know that every teenager is different and needs different types of guidance. But one thing that is the same in all teenagers is their passionate desire for independence. And it often seems that they are constantly, almost intentionally, choosing the opposite of what we think is wise!

I don’t know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like my relationship with God! How many times have you made a decision or choice only to realize God was working in the situation the entire time? But did He ever once force you to choose His way or did He give you the freedom to make your own decision?

The crazy thing about the love of God is that it came first! John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” And that is the very thing we can relate to as a parent! We know that same kind of love when it comes to our teenagers. And the way we choose to love God back is by humbling our free will to His will. We don’t always do it, and neither do our teens.

Here are a few ideas that will help you guide your teen and not control them.

  • Agree on a signal that your teen can use when they feel like you are trying to control them. But you both have to be willing to listen to the other persons viewpoint!
  • Don’t try to rescue them from the natural consequences of their own choices! That’s a really tough one!
  • Make sure that they always know that your love is not dependent on their decisions. You will always be there for them.
  • Know that you won’t always agree with your teen’s choice. And they shouldn’t ask you to!
  • Recognize when you need to step in to a situation that your teen is not equipped to handle. Prayer is absolutely necessary for discernment.
  • Just remember that your teenager is becoming an adult and you are the best one to parent them through this.

Otherwise God would never have chosen you to do it!

Walking this journey with you,

Mark

 

The commander of Columbia shuttle that disintegrated in mid-air was so devoted to family worship that he recorded eighteen videos for his family, one for each day that he was supposed to be gone. How valuable do you think those videos are to his family now? What a legacy he has left. I have personally used this bible for 2 year for family worship and it is an excellent resource.
Plugged-In Parenting comes at a time when parents find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They want to protect their children from the increasingly violent and sexualized content of movies, TV, the Internet, and music as well as cyberbullying and obsessive cell phone texting. But they fear that simply “laying down the law” will alienate their kids. Can parents stay connected to the media while staying connected to God and to each other? This book makes a powerful case for teaching kids media discernment, but doesn’t stop there. It shows how to use teachable moments, evidence from research and pop culture, Scripture, questions, parental example, and a written family entertainment constitution to uphold biblical standards without damaging the parent-child relationship.
Check out www.youthoftheforest.org calandar every week to see what is going on for your kids. There is also a parent section just for you.
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