Monday, November 05, 2007

My own emerging thoughts on adolescents

~Don't talk down or preach. (If you can help it!)
~Relationship, not rules.
~You still are the parent. If they are rude, snotty, or disobey, they need to be disciplined.
~Touch them.
~Serve them.
~Say "Let's talk about our day."
~Love...especially when it's hard, and they are being rude, snotty, or disobeying. :)

Please share your emerging thoughts, mama's of teens.

Inspired by Tonia's thoughts, who I will miss dearly in the blogosphere.


payton said...

As a very hard to love teen, I think all of your thoughts are great. You have to keep loving them where they are and disciplining them when they need it. It's also important for you to pick your battles and not focus on details that may be frustrating to you but are not sin. Dads are also crucial during this time. Making sure they stay engaged even if they are freaked out by the thought of thier daughter becoming a woman. Just remember she will one day thank you for being her just might not be tommorow.

Beck said...

That is a really amazing list.

Joel and Jaime said...

I'll keep that in mind for 10 or 11 years from now :)

miriam said...


These are similar to my own emerging thoughts on parenting in general... little ones included! :)

I don't often like to recommend parenting books, but Tim Kimmel's Grace Based Parenting is rocking my husband and me. It just seems like it flows in the stream of what you've been thinking about.

And now I will hush, since I'm not a mama of teens. :)

Kendra said...

I'm not a mother of a teenager, but I just have to share with you this excellent link that has a lot to do with the subject:

Andrea said...

Thanks, Kendra, that was a great post.

Terry said...

Andrea, I totally agree. We had an incident in our house before school this morning when one of my girls said something mean to her sister. She knew it would push her buttons. The deliberateness of her words really made me angry and I had to stop, breathe, and think before responding. I could have made things a lot worse, but thank God, I didn't. Your post is a timely one for me, indeed. Adolescents need love- especially when they are being unlovable.

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Thanks to Kendra, too! I loved that post.

Wow, it scares me to imagine me in this phase, but I'm sure it won't be too much longer... thanks. I love your posts, Andrea!

ukrainiac said...

We approached the teen years without EXPECTING them to become difficult. We didn't give permission ahead of time, by verbally dreading those years, for them to be rude or disrespectful. We had tried to teach them as they were growing up that WE hadn't made the rules -- God had -- and that we were ALL following the same ones.

Also recommend a book: Age of Opportunity by one of the Tripp men...can't remember which one. Basically it reminded us that each time we needed to correct our teen-agers was an opportunity to point them to the gospel. Time consuming, Yes. Did I do it EVERY time, No. Was it worth the effort? Yes.

Enjoy the teen years!

Andrea said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I do like Tripp's stuff.
While it can sometimes be hard to love them, I do enjoy seeing my oldest blossom. That part is exciting.
Also, I don't think rudeness is neccesarily a "teen" thing (adults and children can be rude), it's just relating to them on another level...not preaching, etc. that I'm adjusting to. If they happen to be rude (which we all can be, I believe), then I am learning how to correct her without "preaching"...perhaps in methods as you are saying.
Thanks for commenting. I love to learn from mama's of teens.

tonia said...

You have a great list, Andrea. Right now, I am looking for ways to connect with my kids; looking for things we can both be interested in. (Similar to what we do with our husbands when we learn to be interested in football scores, etc. *wink*)

As much as I dislike too much media, one of my sons is a huge movie buff. Learning the story line to all the Bourne movies goes a long way to bridging a gap between us. Extra points if I learn actor's and director's names and their resumes. *grin*
Triple points if I can keep from showing boredom when we discuss all the cool action sequences for the tenth time.

This idea is actually harder for me than it seems. I would prefer my son read historical biographies and want to discuss Geo. Washington's abilities as a general (and I can tend to see this as a failure on my part), but that is not interesting to HIM - and one of my first lessons from CM philosophies comes home right here: Children are PERSONS. At this age, it's time to quit fretting about shaping all their interests (although we never quit aiming for the BEST) and embrace the person each one of them is becoming.

I am looking at how to take this interest in movies and turn it into a higher pursuit...perhaps a study of all the greatest directors and their techniques? Perhaps a book on stunt men and the skills involved in their craft?

But nothing replaces my abandoning my snobbery, taking a deep breath, making a bowl of popcorn and jumping in and enjoying an action flick, just for love.

~Well, now that I don't have a blog to write at I guess I'll have to restrain my comments. :) Sorry for taking up so much space.



Ginnie said...

I would agree with all your points. I would say however that our teenagers need to know God gave us to them to parent not be their best friend. Which I think you are aware of. One thing I've tried to keep in mind is that if we go into the teenage years expecting them to be horrible they will be. Two books I would recommend for every parent are Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp and Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

I'm always trying to remember that children get embarrassed. Little ones do, and so do tweens who are needing to understand all the things that are happening and changing about them.

My 12 year old is very open with me...she asks me all kinds of questions I *never* asked my mom...but even she admitted that sometimes she spends a lot of time agonizing about HOW to bring the subjects or questions up.

So, I like your idea about initiating, "So let's talk about our day..."

kari jo said...

timely words, andrea.
i'll post them on the
side of our fridge.
kari jo

Persuaded said...

Well, I have managed to get my oldest through the teen years, and 3 of my others are teens right now *gulp*. I love your list:-) I also agree with some of your other commenters about not *expecting* rebellion and alienation- these years don't need to follow that path! Spend time with them (I'm talking hours and hours and hours), surround them with good loving folks, and don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry," or "I don't know!" I say both of those things a LOT!

Very lovely blog!