Dancing to the Song of Adolescence

As I watched a morning talk show while doing my workout one particular day, the host’s seventeen-year-old daughter was a guest on the cooking segment. As the young girl walked on the set, her mother’s face and demeanor changed noticeably. Almost instantly, she looked older. Gone was the jovial, confident talk show host that everyone usually saw. I could see the fear in her eyes. I could hear the hesitation in her voice. And I could feel the tension between them. As the familiar dance played out in front of me, it hit me. We all struggle with raising our teenagers.

With my daughters, I often feel like I have to walk on eggshells. While once I was confident, I now experience fear and trepidation. It’s a whole new ballgame with teenagers. And it requires a completely different type of parenting. Regardless of how well you have parented in the past, parenting a teenager can really throw you for a loop.

Teens often don’t know what they think or feel because on an almost daily basis, they are becoming a different person. An adolescent’s values, opinions, and perceptions are fluid and unpredictable.  —John Townsend, Boundaries with Teens

I was caught off guard recently when my daughter informed me that I analyzed things too much and was too involved in my kids’ business. Both she and her sister agreed. “You don’t have to be home everyday when I get home from school, sometimes I don’t want to talk. I want to be able to be quiet without explaining myself. Sometimes I want to be alone,” she said.

So, I told myself to back off and give her some space. However, the next day, she came home and verbally vomited on me for forty-five minutes about every aspect of her day, the drama of her friends, and every thought and feeling she had since she left the house that morning. It’s hard to keep up with her. What does she want from mom today? I often wonder.

At some point in adolescence, teens change into someone different. Something may work one day, and raise hell the next. In response, we, as parents, may feel vulnerable.

When our kids become fourteen or fifteen, we can no longer hide behind the guise of being “the parent.” They start relating to us as people. It is healthy to give them a glimpse of mom and dad as human beings. It is natural and normal to give them a peak behind the curtain. However, it is not unusual for teens to be highly critical of their parents, which can be hard to take.

When our kids entered adolescence, we became vulnerable at a deeper level. We opened up, not only about parenting issues, but about our personal struggles too. —John Townsend, Boundaries with Teens

Anyone who has had teenagers knows they believe they are adults, and therefore, no longer need input from you. They may look like adults, but mentally and emotionally, they are far from it. It boils down to this: they don’t know what they don’t know. And their brains are not fully formed until their mid-twenties. But don’t tell that to your teen! I only made that mistake once.

Biologically, a lot is going on inside the minds and bodies of teenagers. While once their thinking was purely black and white, they are now dipping their toes in the waters of abstract thinking. They can be up and down and all over the place. And often they don’t know why they think or feel the way they do. As parents, we just need to ride the wave.

When parents consistently provide teens with warmth and structure, teens become less extreme, impulsive, and moody. In other words they begin to grow up inside. —John Townsend, Boundaries with Teens

Our goal in most of the interactions with our teens needs to be connection and relationship rather than fixing and correcting. It’s not easy being a teenager. We must listen to them and empathize. Offering empathy and compassion in their mood swings allows them to feel safe.

Parenting teenagers is tricky. It is coming together and moving apart. It is aggressive and firm, yet soft and loving. And playful at times. It is a dance to the song of adolescence.

The common language is always love. Love keeps the connection alive no matter how awkward the relationship with our teens may seem. God will give us the patience and wisdom we need. And God promises to always be with us. We can rest knowing He can make our teenagers into something beautiful.


Pre-order Kim’s new book, Pouring In, Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal, Passionate, and Permanent Faith in Your Kids coming out February/March 2018.

Pre-order Pouring In, Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal, Passionate, and Permanent Faith in Your Kids

I’ve seen it in your eyes. Christian parents have been watching their teens turn away from the faith for decades, and you fear your kids will do the same. It is never too late to tip the scales in favor of your kids developing a personal, passionate, and permanent faith in Jesus Christ.

$12.00

Pouring into Our Kids in 2018: Game On

God wasn’t our number one for most of our marriage. If you would have asked my husband and I, we would have said that He was. But He wasn’t. We were very much striving for the American Dream.

We were raising our daughters to be good people because we were good people. Wasn’t that what we were supposed to be doing? Wasn’t that enough?

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We taught them to say please and thank you. We taught them to be nice and polite and do what they’re told. We took them to church on Sundays to learn about God. We taught them the importance of a good education and how to be successful in American culture.

As my kids grew up, I started to think about what I really wanted them to be when they left our house.

Happy? Confident? Intelligent? Driven?

To a certain degree, yes, those things are useful. But, they are secondary values. As I pondered these things I began to question the values on which I had been so focused.

I realized that if I want my kids to have a lasting faith and a heart for God, then I needed to shoot for more than raising our kids to be good people.

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When I found myself with teenagers, my thinking started to shift from the day to day issues with my kids, to the adults they would become. As my mind flashed forward, what I saw gave me pause.

My mind didn’t flash to them as hobos living on the street and begging for food. My mind didn’t flash to my daughters being porn stars or drug addicts. My mind flashed to their faith and character.

Who would they become? Would they continue to follow Christ as young adults?

What greater focus could there be this coming year than the spiritual lives of our kids? I challenge you to commit to being intentional about3D cover passing on a personal faith in Christ to your kids this year. Pouring In, Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal, Passionate, and Permanent Faith in Your Kids will empower you in this noble endeavor.

We go to church, you may say. Isn’t that enough? According to numerous studies, it isn’t.

Did you know somewhere between 60-75% of our kids leave the church when they leave home?

Did you know 85% of youth from Christian homes who attend public schools do not embrace a Christian worldview? (The Last Christian Generation, Josh McDowell, p.14)

2018 is here, and many of us have made New Year’s Resolutions. Losing weight, exercising, and reading the Bible are all noble goals. However, We have the rest of our lives to improve ourselves. How much time do we have left with our kids?

Do you see your kids wrestling with spiritual issues? Are you a regular part of their journey toward discovering the truth? Have you done everything you could this past year to build up faith in Christ in your children? If not, what better resolution could there be?

It’s a new year and anything is possible. You have a clean slate.

Game on.

Man, I saw a lot of the mistakes that I made early on and I see a lot of the things I’m doing well now, and the difference this book would have made for me 28 years ago…I actually had a hard time putting this one down!  —Jim

In this book, you will learn…

  • why a majority of kids leave the church after they leave home
  • why churched kids’ lifestyles often aren’t consistent with their religion
  • the reality of what kids will encounter in college
  • which things actually cause faith to stick to kids
  • how to encourage your kids to depend on God
  • 3 ways to nurture your kids so they will be open to the gospel
  • 5 questions all teenagers must answer as they move into adulthood
  • 11 mistakes Christian parents make that lead kids away from faith in Christ

Pouring in comes out in the next couple months. Pre-order your copy for just $12 today!

Pre-order Pouring In, Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal, Passionate, and Permanent Faith in Your Kids

I’ve seen it in your eyes. Christian parents have been watching their teens turn away from the faith for decades, and you fear your kids will do the same. It is never too late to tip the scales in favor of your kids developing a personal, passionate, and permanent faith in Jesus Christ.

$12.00

 

 

 

5 Reasons to be Excited about the New Year

TempThis morning I woke up to find it was negative fifteen degrees! What? In Indiana? I understand if you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan—those up there states—it is par for the course. But, Indiana? Brrrrrrr!

I just got back from the grocery store. It’s a deceivingly beautiful day. The sky is blue and the bright, beautiful snow is sparkling in the sunshine. It’s delightful to look at from the inside. However, I had to take my heavy duty gloves off walking back to the car because I bought Starbucks and I couldn’t grip my cup with them on. My hands throbbed all the way home. It’s rough being me.

Anyway, now that I have thawed a little, back to my post.

Happy New Year! If you are anything like me, New Year’s day is a relief. The holidays just about kill me, so I am glad they are over. And now, I can look to the future.

Are you expecting great things in 2018? I am. Want to know why? Even though I’m not an especially optimistic person, I know that God is already holding this coming year in His hands. 2018 belongs to Him. He’s got this.

5 reasons to be excited about the new year:3D cover

  1. Regardless of how short the days seem, they are getting LONGER
  2. Christmas is over
  3. There are 43 days until we have to buy anything for anyone for a “holiday”
  4. This is the year of the Lord’s favor (Isaiah 61:2). God has good things in store for 2018.
  5. Pouring In, Tipping the Scales in Favor of a Personal, Passionate, and Permanent Faith in Your Kids comes out in January or February!

I don’t generally make New Year’s Resolutions, but since I know how flawed I am, I always have a list. My list, usually revolves around the theme of more thankfulness. I need to work on having a thankful attitude. I need to work on complaining less. More thankfulness, less complaining.

This is my WIP (Work In Progress) list.

  • more thankfulness
  • less complaining
  • more love
  • less complaining
  • more grace
  • less complaining
  • more joy
  • less complaining

Are you noticing a pattern? I look at it this way: Basically, I need more of Him, and less of me.

He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30

If I made New Year’s resolutions, this verse would be mine every year. I am so thankful that we have a God that loves the “works in progress.”

For my fellow works in progress, I look forward to our journey together in 2018! I look forward to becoming more like Him together with you. Thank you so much for subscribing to my blog. I so appreciate you.

Blessings.