The following article is from William P. Smith:
Every parent I’ve met has felt frustrated by repeatedly stumbling into difficult conversations with their teenage children. Those conversations seem to come out of nowhere, pack lots of energy, and leave everyone bruised and tiptoeing around each other . . . until the next one.
I suspect hard conversations would take place even if we removed sin from the equation. By definition, teenagers are transitioning out of childhood. They’re figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and how to handle greater independence and responsibility, all while still living in your home. You’re both trying to redefine a relationship that should (rightly) no longer be what it was when they were younger. There’s simply no way you both can navigate this process without at least some bumps and mutual learning along the way.
While there’s no surefire way to guarantee easier, better conversations with your child, there are some things you can do to help them see you as more of an ally than a threat during these defining years.
1. Not everything that goes through your mind should come out of your mouth.
Think before you speak. Proverbs has a lot to say about the words we choose, but it comes down to the wise person being careful with what they say, whereas the fool blurts out whatever comes to mind (Prov. 12:23). If what you’re thinking really does need to be said, you can always bring it up later. If it’s foolish, though, you can’t get it back after it’s left your mouth.
2. Don’t interrupt or talk over your child.
Don’t talk over them any more than you want them to interrupt and talk over you. It’s the law of love: Do to them conversationally as you would have them do to you (Matt. 7:12). Somehow, it’s easy to overlook Christ’s command when speaking to our children—to interact with them in ways we wouldn’t dream of with someone we just met. Imagine your child as someone you respect; then talk to them accordingly.
For the rest of the article, click here.