Parents usually develop some confidence in their capacity to see their young children through problems. Parents seem to know how important it is for parents to be involved with their children in the early years. During elementary it is not difficult to get to know your children’s friends and teachers and talk about problems or victories. This confidence can evaporate when your child hits the teen years. It is normal and parents can feel particularly vulnerable if there’s no other involved because the ability to share with people diminish. Sometimes it can just be a pride issue and wanting to appear that you have it all together. Most parents I talk with don’t have it all together and don’t feel confident all the time.
It is important to teach personal responsibility. Also keep in their mind the big picture. For mine, I remind them often of our big focus. We exist to bring God glory. That is our overall objective. From there we build around our main objective.
Keep in mind there are biological changes that both the student and parent need to work through. These changes affect actions. It is not an excuse, but understand that people do things for understandable reasons. Don’t think what works for one works for all. Fairness is not everyone getting the same thing. It is giving what each needs. Be supportive. That doesn’t mean you give in and have a kid run household. Do think about what you are fighting over.
Fight for not against each other.
Development comes in stages. One of the good books I have read is Shepherding a Child’s Heart (Ted Trip) and it reminds us that the things your child does and says flow from the heart. Luke 6:45 puts it this way: “…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Focus on the heart.
If you are not careful you can correct when you should be building relationships. Or you build relationship while you should be correcting. Adults can get caught up in what others are doing or watching which leads to performance parenting. Trip puts it this way:
Authority best describes the parent’s relationship to the child. (p. xix)
God’s relationship with us as His children is characterized by many things other than His right to demand obedience from us. He emphasizes lovingkindness, rejoicing, longsuffering, compassion, and sacrifice. He meets our true needs, helps us to will and to do His good pleasure, has compassion on us, blesses us—and much more.