(Carol Bishop, is an amazing woman of God. She has led youth ministry, is a wife, mother and an active member of Ferris Hill. I am so thankful she has offered to share her wisdom with us. Please enjoy!)
As the parent of a teen, one of the most important things is communication. We are going to break this down into categories:
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Every teenager needs to see their parent(s) living out their relationship with God. “Sunday Morning” Christians – those who worship God on Sunday and put Him aside until the next Sunday – don’t have much hope for good communication with their teen(s). Your walk has to match your talk. How can a teen (or anyone) trust you otherwise?
Find ways to engage your teenager in conversation. Do you think they will come to you for advice if all they ever hear you say are things like, “Clean your room.” “You can’t wear that.” “Brush your teeth.”
START THE CONVERSATION
Find conversation starters. I don’t recommend, “How was school today.” That’s too broad. You could ask about a favorite class, teacher, friend, etc. It is very important that you know what they are interested in and know something about that subject.
SEEK COMMON GROUND
Seek common ground to help you engage your teen in conversation. Then listen. Let them talk. If you correct them on anything they say or feel like you have to control the conversation, then you are going to discourage your teen from trying to talk with you again. They should talk. You should listen. Sometimes what they say will amaze you! (Be sure your electronic devices are turned off. Don’t be too concerned about their device. That would be demanding attention instead of encouraging conversation.)
PROVERBS 15:1 (KJV) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”