The Space Between:
A parents guide to teenage development
by Dr. Walt Mueller
– Your children are not adults yet, and understanding this will help you avoid wrong expectations. They have not matured and went through stages of life like you as an adult have.
– Don’t fall into the world’s trap of what is said about teenagers. Your teenager is a gift from God.
– The teenage years bring many new temptations, struggles and trials. They are also years of great opportunities for a parent’s guide, example and help.
– What is the greatest problem in a teenagers life? It is one word, sin. It is the same problem that we have in our life, sin.
– Independence is the goal of adolescence/teenage years. Soon our children will be released to the world. This time of adolescence is a time that God is working in our children and in our lives.
– Dependence is one of the best states in which we can find ourselves while raising children. We must depend on God, for it is He alone who can ultimately work in their lives.
– Our helplessness can be the best thing if we will learn to depend on God’s help.
– God is in the midst of parenting us while we parent our children.
– There is a social separation in adolescence. Young people close off their family as they open to other friends. In today’s society, through social media, young people communicate with their friends while blocking out the family.
– We are to love them, train them and let them go as we commit them over to the Lord.
– Studies have shown that the better a teenager’s relationship is with their parents, the higher self-esteem they will have.
– Adolescents should know that no matter what goes on at school or outside, the home is a safe place to be.
– When they are children, you think for them. When they are adolescence, you should think with them. And when they are adults, let them think for themselves. Challenge them to think critically through things.
– Teenagers will be moody, but do your best not to belittle their emotions, just be patient with them. Teenagers need parents that will love them and be there for them even in their emotional ups and downs.
– Never forget and never be afraid of keeping the authority on the Word.
– One of the most powerful weapons you have in your arsenal with your kids is to become vulnerable. Let them know of the good, bad and ugly from experiences in your life.
– Teenagers are trying to find themselves. The world tries to show them their identity. They will eventually find themselves, but we want to help them find their identity in Christ and not in what the world offers.
– Be all you want your children to be. When we love God, it will naturally flow from our lives and our children will see it. Children naturally imitate and become like their parents.
– Ask yourself if your children see that God is important in your life. Do they see you read His word, love others, fear God, pray and seek God in good times and bad times? Do they say that God is first in your time, your finances and all you do? Do they say that you love God on days when you are not in church?
– Be redemptive. What will you do if your children go against what you believe or told them? How will you treat your children if and when they mess up?
– Remember that your children’s greatest problem is your greatest problem, sin. Have the same attitude that God has towards you, forgive them and love them when they are good and bad, when they mess up and embarrass you.
– We have been the recipients of God’s abundant grace, so how could we not show the same grace towards our children when they need it.