We are a blended family; two boys, two girls.
As strong-willed parents who have strong-willed teens, our family’s emotions and words are all over the place. It’s been an important time for my husband and I to work as partners when it comes to parenting our teens. Often, one of us sways to be more compassionate or more strict but we are a team in every sense of the word.
When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives.
It’s clear our teens don’t think much of us. Frequently, we discover a hidden agenda when conflict occurs. Each person looks after themselves and no one else. After watching the story unfold for Charlie and Alice, I am committed to adopting a family purpose — something that we can all claim ownership of, strengthening our family. I’ll be working through what that will look like that over the next few months.
How do you build a strong family? By paying attention not only to individual family members but to the family as a group.
3 Things Like Arrows Taught Me About Parenting Teens
We should point our kids every day to Jesus.
Let them know that if they come to him for help, he will never turn them away. Pray alongside your teen. Talk about how much you need the grace of Jesus every day! We should root all that we need, say, and do in the wisdom of Scripture. Our bodies, minds, relationships, and more.
We should stay patiently committed to the process.
In the book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles, Paul David Tripp describes what the first conversation with your kid WON’T look like. I love this. He says, “You won’t have your first heart conversation with your son or daughter and have them say, ‘Mom, I get it. I have sin in my heart and my heart is ruled by things that shouldn’t rule it and I need rescue and forgiveness. Where can I find the Redeemer?’ That just won’t happen.” Friend, you must be patiently willing to have heart conversations over and again, praying that God would do in their heart what you could never do.
We should confess our faults and humbly accept our limits.
Most noteworthy, it is a grace when our children see a humble heart modeled by us. Resist the daily temptation that you can do what God can do. Celebrate what he is doing through you! This much I know: God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.
Parenting is a Journey
No one ever sets out to be a bad parent. What does it look like to miss the mark…AND get back on course? Come see!
- Like Arrows is in limited theaters for TWO DAYS ONLY: May 1 and 3. Find a theater.
- FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting. Watch the trailer video.
How are you living with purpose in your family? If your children are grown and out of the house, what advice would you share with those of us who are “in the thick of it” with teens? Share with me in the comments!