As I mentioned recently, in a post entitled Parenting vs. Micro-Managing, our church will be holding a parenting conference later this month and Lisa and I were asked to lead a workshop on “Parenting Teens.” We have an hour to address a subject that requires, oh, eons of wisdom.
Despite the time constraints, it’s an issue we are really invested in. Of course, we’re officially out of the “raising teenagers” stage (our youngest will be 22 next week), but children — both having them and enjoying them — seems to be a “calling” we’ve stumbled into. Along with raising our four kids, I was a Youth Pastor for a short time. It was very… enlightening.
One of the takeaways from those years was the realization that many parents are terribly out-of-touch with their teens. I recently left this message on Facebook:
Being computer illiterate is no excuse for not knowing what your kids are doing online.
The reason I wrote that is because I am Facebook “friends” with some kids of people I know… and they write some pretty weird, often crude and risque, things online. And it leaves me wondering where the heck those kids’ parents are. The sad truth is that this is symptomatic of parents in general. We hem and haw, make excuses, climb the ladder of success, only to wake up one day and discover our kids are OOC.
Anyway, I decided to use the aforementioned web post, and several others, as a framework for what we’ll share in that workshop. (See, this blogging thing can pay off!) As I ponder the issues in preparation, I thought it would be insightful to get some of your feedback. Whether or not you have parented teens, will parent them, or are currently in process…
What one piece of advice would you give parents of teens?
What do you think is the single biggest thing a teenager needs from his / her parents?
What is the most common mistake you think parents make raising teens?
Hey, any insight you can give me on one, or all of the questions, would be wonderful. (And, I promise, if I use some of your advice in the workshop, I’ll give you a shout out.)