Sunday, August 25, 2013

Series: Raising Amazing Teenagers

This is the first in a series of posts on teenagers.  I have avoided blogging about teenagers much because honestly, most of the time I had doubts we were doing anything right. But, since no one has been convicted of a felony or spent time in jail I decided that was a big plus and I would share a little of our experiences with our teens. (That was a sarcastic statement by the way). I don't know how many posts I will get out on teenagers, but I hope they encourage and show that even when the parents aren't sure if they are doing it right, the Lord has it all under control.

Before my husband and I were married we did what every engaged couple does.  We discussed having a family.  We talked about how many kids we would have, even what we would name them.  We decided 5 kids would be perfect for us.  We didn’t know anyone else with that many kids and thought it would be a lot of fun to have a houseful of kids.  Little did we know that God had more in mind for us.

Our first five kids were born in less than five years. Number 5 was born in February and number 1 turned five in May.  I had no clue God would give us our five kids so fast!  The Lord spread out the next 6 kids over a span of 14 years.  Yep, that makes a total of 11.  God double blessed us beyond what we thought was possible.  Isn’t that just like God.

So, when our first 5 kids were little, well-meaning family and friends had many warnings for us. The most common was,

“Wait until they are all teenagers!  Then you will find out what real parenting is about.”

So the day came when with each year we added another teenager to the list.  And to my surprise I absolutely loved having teenagers!  It was nothing like people had warned me about.  This dreaded stage by so many parents was for me a time of great joy and so much fun!  

It’s possible to enjoy your teenagers.  It doesn’t have to be such a difficult stage to go through.  But, it also doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work by the parents.

The making of an amazing teenager begins when they are born. We didn’t decide to teach specific principles to our kids when they turned 13.  It started when they were born. From the beginning we held our kids to a higher standard than our culture does.   It wasn’t an unattainable standard. It was based on their maturity and abilities and most importantly it was based on Scripture.

Culture says, “Kids will be kids, don’t expect too much.” We knew differently. We knew our kids, as teenagers, were able to make a big difference in the world around them if given the opportunity.  We used the Bible as our guide and that is the standard we held our kids to. 

Next time, I will write about what standards we set for our children, that lead to more responsible teenagers.