Parenting class – session 4

Dear Parent,

I hope you are enjoying the bite-sized parenting encouragement in each of these sessions.  Feel free to pass along any of the sessions you find useful to other parents within your circle of influence.

This month we are talking about how to RESPOND to your teenager instead of REACTING to your teenager.

If you missed last week’s online class, you can go here to find it here, http://chrispeoples.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/parenting-class-session-3/.

Did you do your homework from last week? If you didn’t remember about the assignments, that okay.  I will give them to you again.

  1. Look up Proverbs 15:1.  Memorize it, and repeat it to yourself every time your teenager tries to push your buttons.
  2. Write out what you desire the end result of your parenting looks like?
  3. Ask yourself some hard questions about how you are doing at guiding your child to live the end result.

The truth found in Proverbs 15:1 is the first thought that you can bring to your minds and hearts when your teenager opens the door of frustration in your relationship.

But for this lesson I am going to suggest to you three quick thoughts that you can go through like a checklist in your head to keep you from losing your temper:

1) Pray this short prayer first: “God give me grace in the moment”. It is impossible to maintain control of your emotion apart from the grace of God, so be willing to ask for it.

2) Ask yourself, “What can I teach them right now?” This thought will keep you focused on the greater parenting task which is teaching them the beliefs and life skills they need to become an adult.

3) Consider the context. What physical changes could be causing this behavior? What relational pressures or circumstances might be fueling your teenager’s emotional response?  Be willing to have a conversation about what is going on in your son or daughter’s life that might be contributing to the frustration.

I have recently discovered in that our two older boys tend to let their guard down with Bridget and me.  In a world that has often has unrealistic expectations for a pastor’s kids, they feel safe at home.  This is a great thing!  The not-so-great thing is that sometimes this safety allows them to drop their guard and speak disrespectfully to mom and dad.  It is important that Bridget and I are able to walk through these moments with our boys, rather than become part of the groups of people that create unrealistic expectations.

I am discovering more and more than parenting is about establishing a partnership with our kids for the sake of the gospel.  For me, I cannot afford to be right all the time.  Instead, I must constantly point my kids to Jesus through my example and my words.

How I choose to respond or react has huge implications on how my children will embrace Jesus tomorrow and the days to follow.

Here is a 6 minute and 29 second video from a recent Parent Seminar that talks more about understanding the Physical Changes that are going on inside of your teenager.  Understanding these changes can give you the context you need to RESPOND instead of REACT to their wild mood swings. Follow this link to watch the video: http://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/48888063/ff98940e88

My goal is to encourage you, and open the lines of communication between your church family and the family you reside with. With that in mind, feel free to email me any questions or prayer requests you may have.

Have a great day,
Chris