I recently read a report by
George Barna entitled "Third Millennium Teens" and in this report I
found out that parents are still the #1 influence in teenagers lives
(both Christian and non Christian). That finding is what inspired
the following thoughts.
1. TOUCH THEM
- there is nothing like a kind loving touch that says "I care
2. CONNECT TO
THEM - Let's stay in TOUCH but not in TUNE with them. If we are
TUNE with them we are playing the same note (living the same,
dressing the same, talking the same) and they have friends for this.
We need to be in TOUCH with them by knowing what is going on and
addressing those issues from a parental vantage point and not a
friendship vantage point. They still need leaders to lead them.
3. HEAL THEM
- Just like when they learned to ride a bike and they had the little
"boo - boo," we kissed it and made it all better. Well the stakes of
gone up a little when they are teens, so we need to be there to
bring healing when the rejection comes (they did not make the team
or cheerleader, etc.).
4. COACH THEM
TO SERVE GOD - To serve and be a part of something that is
bigger than yourself is a very important life lesson. We can only
teach this by our very own lifestyle. A wise person once said, "We
can teach what we know but we reproduce who we are." As a parent
that can be a scary thought!
5. COACH THEM
TO BE GIVERS AND NOT TAKERS - So many people have there hand out
and believe that they are entitled to so much . . . this must
CHANGE. All of us have a fond place in our hearts for those who have
given to us sacrificially. We must teach our students to be givers
(time, energy, and talent) and not takers. The rewards are beyond
measure for this kind of lifestyle.
6. COACH THEM
TO HAVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS - As adults who have lived some
life we know that the most vulnerable place in life is within the
context of relationships. They can be deeply enriching or totally
devastating. We must coach them through these times. Obviously the
easiest thing to do is model love, acceptance, forgiveness, and
kindness in all of our own relationships.
7. GUIDE THEM
THROUGH TRANSITION - We know that it is not if change comes but
it is when change comes, so we must prepare our teen student for the
transitions of life. Some one once said, "BLESSED ARE THE FLEXIBLE
FOR THEY SHALL NOT BE BENT OUT OF SHAPE." Yes, we should teach and
train them that there are convictions that we live by that do not
change but there are seasons in everyone's life.
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