Survey says 93% of all teenage boys and 63% of all teenage girls will have been exposed to porn by the age of 18. Surveys also reveal that over 50% of all teens are sexually active and over 60% are either dependent on or abusing alcohol or drugs. Yikes!!
For parents, the high school years are probably the most difficult times to raise kids. What was once “normal” is constantly being redefined and challenged. It’s a time when kids are growing up and the most vulnerable, insecure, and susceptible to making poor choices because of all the changes taking place.
So how can parents help continue being effective during the high school years? What are some biblical principles that parents can apply to protect their teens through the process?
1. Be Informed
Proverbs 22:6 – Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
God’s word highlights that parents are responsible for training their children and, when they do, it will have a lasting impact. Therefore, it is important that parents don’t check out or delegate their role during the high school years. This can happen by assuming a coach, teacher, or youth pastor is handling it. Don’t let this happen, stay plugged in and informed.
To be informed means parents must become good learners. There is no way parents can help, protect, or guide a child when they don’t know what they are facing. This is often the place where the breakdown occurs between a parent and teen, especially during the high school years.
Teens will often see their parents as “clueless” and look to their friends for advice and insight. Therefore, it is extremely important that parents become good listeners, and questions askers. Try your best not to react, seemed shocked, or lay down the law during times your teen is sharing. It’s all about providing a safe place for your child to open up. The more you communicate the more you will be informed.
2. Instill the “Freedom Requires Responsibility” Principle
Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
“Training” implies an instruction process that helps a child understand how things work. One of the quickest ways to exasperate a teen is to give them freedom without clearly stating the consequences associated if the freedom is abused. Not only is this exasperating for a child, but it doesn’t train them how to walk with the Lord or how the real world works. Simply stated, freedom requires responsibility and if responsibility isn’t taken, there are consequences.
Remember high school is a transition time from child to young adult. This is when teens learn about self-management and self-regulation because mom and dad are no longer around. This is why instilling the “freedom requires responsibility” principle is so critical.
For example: If curfew is established and adhered to, then more freedom is given by extending the curfew, but if curfew is violated then less freedom is given by an earlier curfew. Pretty simple! The “freedom requires responsibility” principle will go a long way in helping your teen grow up and will also protection in the process.
3. Pray, Pray, Pray
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying…
Paul the Apostle gave these instructions to the Ephesians in order to help them recognize that they are in a daily spiritual battle. As Christians, we must also recognize our teens are in a daily spiritual battle, especially during the high school years. If you haven’t noticed, the enemy is alive and well on high school campuses today. Therefore, parents need to be willing to fight this battle by relying on the Lord for wisdom, power, strength, and protection.
Parents need to be praying for their teens and with their teens. Parents also need to help them understand the power of prayer and seeking God for themselves. There is no more powerful tool Christian parents have today than prayer, so let’s use it. Our children’s lives and future depend on it!
http://www.teenpregnancystatistics.org/content/sexually-active-teens.html. http://www.parentingteens.com/teen-substance-abuse-statistics-charts-and-graphs/. http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-alcohol-use/teen-alcohol-abuse-statistics.html.
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