9. They give their teens the desire to be married. For some this is easy – for others, this could be one of the hardest things to impart to your teens. But why this is so important, is because your teens have been observing your marriage/attitude about marriage their entire lives. Does that give them a desire to be married? Maybe your marriage isn’t quite where you wish it was. Or maybe you are a single parent. Regardless of where your marriage is, if you want your teens to grow up, get married and be happy with their choice, it’s important for you to stay positive about marriage NOW, while they are still in your home. We’ve seen so many early 20-somethings with such a negative view on marriage, because of the way their parents talked about being married. But on the flip side, we’ve also seen some of the most healthy, joyful, perspectives on marriage come from the 20-somethings whose parents stayed positive about the sanctity of marriage, regardless of their own marital situation. So the key here is: stay positive!
10. They work themselves out of a job! These are the parents who intentionally parent with the viewpoint that their beloved children will soon be adults. So they teach them responsibility, money management, time management, constant talks about romance and relationship standards, hearing from and obeying God’s voice, respect, and much, much more. The goal of these parents is to produce responsible adults, who by the time they leave home, are no longer absolutely dependent on mom and dad.
I know this list is by no means complete. However, this list has come from talking with, ministering to, and observing countless parents around the world for the last 8 years.
What about you? Do you have anything to add to our list? I’d LOVE to hear from you!
7. They listen to their teen’s opinion. Sometimes we as parents are so intent on making sure our teens understand our family values, we do all the talking and forget to listen to what they have to say. This is huge! Let them feel like they have a voice in your home. We’ve found that when teenagers don’t feel like their parents “hear” them, they go elsewhere to be heard. Unfortunately, many of us have seen teens find listeners in the wrong crowd – and sometimes the consequences are great. Join the countless awesome parents we know, and become a listener!
8. They teach them media discernment. Why can’t they watch that movie? Why is that music off limits? Why aren’t they allowed to go to that website? Remember that your teens will very possibly leave home within the next 7 years for school, marriage, etc. What will they do when they are suddenly “free”? When they are allowed to choose the media they intake, will they choose wisely? Teach your teens WHY you have the rules you do. Let them study it. Encourage them to research the negative effects on things such as violent video games. Help them to own the same convictions you do for themselves.
Be sure and check back tomorrow for our last two Habits of Highly Successful Parents of Teens!
5. They don’t smother. In a society like ours, it’s more than tempting to over shelter our teens and think we’re only protecting them. What we’ve seen these parents do is use the negative situations around them as teaching opportunities. None of us want to see our children leave home and go try to experience everything we never let them do. But this shows teens that you as parents aren’t just saying “no” because you can! It shows your love and concern for their future, and teaches them wisdom that will guide them for the rest of their life.
6. They…eat meals together. Simple? Yes. Impactful? Absolutely. Because in our busy society, having a consistent time where your family meets together is vital. We’ve found that the teenagers that are secure in their family relationships seem to be overall more stable and self confidant.
3. They have made peace with their past. These are the parents that have recognized the areas in which they messed up (especially in the area of sex and dating) and have been able to accept God’s forgiveness. It blows us away at what a difference this makes in the relationship between parents and teens.
4. They talk talk talk talk talk and talk some more about sex and relationships. They talk about temptation. They talk about boundaries. They talk about what choices their peers are making. They talk about a latest crush. They talk about waiting for God’s best. While this is an ongoing conversation throughout the teens years, the conversation usually starts around 10 or 11!
This week is our “Successful Parents” week! I wanted to be able to pass on some of the wisdom my team and I have gleaned over the years traveling and ministering around the world from truly amazing parents of teens. Be sure and check back throughout the week for all 10 Successful Habits!
The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Parents of Teens:
- They teach them how to hear from God. Our team is unanimous in that this seems to produce some of the best young adults. We’ve watched parents come alongside their teens, teach them to diligently seek God and most importantly, obey when He speaks to them. (If you’d like to know more about hearing from God, CLICK HERE for an excellent resource)
- They model conflict resolution in their relationships. These are the husbands and wives that don’t gossip about each other (or others for that matter) to their teens. When an issue comes up, they don’t sweep it under the rug and call it a day. They work out whatever the issue was, forgive, and move on. We’ve seen some of the best marriages come out of homes with parents who were committed to resolving conflict.
Be sure and check back tomorrow for two more Habits of Highly Successful Parents!
“What” – you say – “Generations of Virtue is writing self help now?” Yes. As a matter of fact, we are. Only this is practical, based exclusively off the years we’ve spent talking with thousands of parents around the world. It’s also worth mentioning, that this list is by no means complete. The DNA of every family has been so differently created by God, that we could never come up with a complete list. However, after seeing the awesome results from families around the world that are living out what you’ll read this coming week, I’m convinced we all have a thing or two to learn from them.
So starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting about the most successful parents of teens our ministry team has encountered.
Be sure to check back!
Recently while speaking with author and speaker Fred Stoeker at our ReConnect conference, I was struck anew by something he said.
“Living a pure lifestyle, is normal. Living in the world, promiscuity, that is NOT normal. When your kids say they want to be ‘normal’, a sexually pure life is normal. In the Kingdom of God, you are NORMAL when you say no to the world”.
I don’t know about you, but this principle rocked my world. How many of you parents of tweens and teens, have heard complaints about not being normal? “But mom, ALL my friends’ parents let them watch that movie!”, or “WHY can’t I wear that?”, etc. Or how about this? “I’m the ONLY one without a boyfriend (or girlfriend)”. “I feel so left out”.
Let’s encourage our kids that in God’s Kingdom, they are “normal”. It’s normal to stand out from the world. It’s normal to be different.
Do not be conformed to this world…