Help! I’m the Parent of a Teenager

I am now the parent of a teenager. Help me. Please. I am not adequately prepared for this. Then again, I wasn’t adequately prepared to be a parent 13 years ago, either. Mark Twain famously said that when your child turned thirteen you should put him in a box and feed him through a hole. Then when your child turns 16, you should plug the hole. This comedic advice speaks to the way most people approach the teen years. Fear, trepidation and uncertainty are often the distinctives of parenting this age bracket.

I am hoping that the teen years, with their discovery of armpit hair and the development of acne (yes, we’ve had both) will prove to be opportunities to showcase the grace of God. I’ll need grace. I tend to respond to teenage mood swings and immaturity with frustration and anger. These companion vices will not be my friends through the teen years. I’ll need grace. Nothing will drive a teen further from his father than to sense a lack of interest and a general distaste for the things which concern them.

My teen will need grace too. Peer pressure, changing body, new feelings and interests (like teen girls) will surely need grace. Without some parental help – particularly from a father – these new and changing realities will be enough to derail spiritual growth and disengage my teen from family life. So, he’ll need grace.

My prayer is that years 13-19 will be marked by good conversation, strong connection, purposeful prayer and a growing independence. I am praying for a teen who is godly, of good character, responsible, and interested in others. This won’t come naturally. In order to see this accomplished both he and I will need God’s grace. Lots of it.

4 thoughts on “Help! I’m the Parent of a Teenager

  1. Herb – I hear you! It’s truly an awe-filled moment. By the grace of God, you, too will survive! Lots of humour, prayer and actual enjoyment of these times will carry you through!

  2. Your prayer “for a teen who is godly, of good character, responsible, and interested in others” has been answered ~ I’ve seen those traits already; I’ll help you pray they remain part of the man he turns out to be. 2 Tim 3:14 ~ But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

    • Herb…..your boy is showing signs of being an awesome young man. Your continued prayer for him will help this become a reality. There are no guarantees as I’ve learned but you must keep on keeping on in the prayer category! As Jayne has said….lots of humour can help make these times fun & full of enjoyment for the most part! Enjoy the ride!!!

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