Hey parents, as your children enter what is commonly known as the teenage years, they need extra TLC from you. And the more informed you are about how to gently guide them, the better equipped you are for the road ahead. In due time, you’ll be raising a teen – or maybe you already are. In either case, let’s take a Biblical look at working with teens and their attitudes.
Attitude is Everything
What idea conjures up in your mind when you hear the word attitude? For sure it has it do with body language and expression. Although it’s often times associated with a bad attitude, there is a flip side. Let’s focus on how to help our young adults grow and choose to maintain a positive and godly attitude.
Truth be told, it starts with you. Matthew 10:24 teaches us: “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” (ESV)
In order to help your young adults learn how to deal with situations in life, you need to set the example. After all, you’re discipling your teen.
One of the key things to keep in mind is to remain calm with your attitude, facial expressions, and posture. By doing this you’re setting the tone of the conversation.
That being said, you’re human and may have your less than stellar moments when your emotions get the best of you. But when this happens, the important thing to do is own it and ask your teen for forgiveness. In order to help your teens, it’s invaluable to model a godly attitude and how to make amends when you slip.
Allow Yourself to Grow
1 Corinthians 13:11 teaches us, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (ESV)
While many adults become paralyzed with a fixed mindset, you can choose otherwise. In fact, one of the best legacies to leave your children is teaching them how to have a growth mindset. We can adopt the mindset of James 1:19, “You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (ESV) This isn’t easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can change.
Most importantly, your teens need to understand that we all make mistakes. However, we can all choose to make better choices from here on out. The best way to learn what kind of choices to make, is to go through the Bible with them. Encourage them to pray with you. Pray for each other in areas where you humble yourselves before the Lord and need to grow.
Proverbs 16:32 teaches us, “Whoever controls his temper is better than a warrior, and anyone who has control of his spirit is better than someone who captures a city.” (ESV)
Controlling your temper is one of the key things your teen needs to learn. While teens are going through a lot of changes, they still need to govern themselves. Hormones and an underdeveloped frontal lobe are no excuse for poor choices. For this reason, it’s so important to help them learn to think cause to effect and internal to external.
Help Them With Perspective
Maybe it’s because they lack some life experience in certain areas, but perspective is an area where teens usually need help. In general, it can be useful to try and help your teen see the other person or situation through God’s eyes. And to ask where he or she sees God’s Providential Hand in the situation. Additionally, help your teens analyze how they can positively contribute to relationships, or how to be a peacemaker as the case may be.
For certain, we have answers in the Bible to guide us with instructions for life and relationships. If only we take the time to read, the Holy Spirit will show us.
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