Gently Parenting Teens

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

I am busy and overwhelmed. Anyone else feel me? I currently have two teenagers, one tween, and a five year old. During these crazy seasons, I forget that God yearns to be included in our parenting. My husband and I can only do so much, but parenting really involves three people: myself, my husband and the Holy Spirit. God soothes parenting and is a balm. He has a path and He loves our children even more than we do. We would all say, “yes, we want Jesus involved,” but are our actions showing that we actually do?

Do we truly parent alongside Christ? Especially during the teen years, I know I can do a better job praying about everything, trusting His leadership, and surrendering the fear and worries I have. After all, He is refining us and specifically revealing to us our weaknesses while we are raising our children. We can grow tremendously if we don’t hold back and if we completely parent in faith. Having the heart’s desire to listen is the first step. Praying to build our homes for God’s glory is the most important thing, but we must become more open and create more space for the Holy Spirit to actually move!

How about an electronic fast on Sundays? That would benefit everyone and open up time for conversations and relaxed meals together. Our children, especially teens, need lots of moments to sit and be still. The pressure they face is insurmountable. What we can do is make our home a fun and peaceful place. We can stop getting on their case and start laughing with them and listening to their passions, and their likes and dislikes. Without adding commentary. Allow them to process with you and your husband and respond gently.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (ESV) This verse is so good for the teen years! Listening to our children without adding criticism, or even our opinions all the time, builds a strong foundation to the relationship and quality seeds are planted. There is a time to give advice, but I think many parents go wrong by adding their feedback too much. It simply wears our teens out and pushes them away. Remember that gentle and peaceful parenting works wonders with our tweens and teens.

Love, Rachel Jones
Rachel Jones
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