You may have heard of the term ‘peer pressure’ and most of us hear that term and think it means pressure to do wrong. However, sometimes peers pressure each other to live up to unreasonable standards, which can put them in bondage. I am in support of inspiring one another to greatness and cheering each other on to advance in life. I just think that sometimes the pressure to perform can become overwhelming. The peer pressure of living up to the church’s ideals can turn into a trap for both the teens and the parents.
Not many parents will openly seek guidance from church leaders, or even from other church parents, because they’re afraid they won’t be able to trust that folks will keep their situations confidential. Word travels fast, goes through various filters in the minds of others, and pretty soon your teen’s night of sneaking into a Rated R film turns into your teen ‘sneaking into a brothel’.
I think we need to take a serious look at what confidentiality means and why it’s vital to the growth of our communities. If people can’t trust us then we have serious problems.
Many Christian parents are also reluctant to write about parenting teens with authenticity. I think party due to wanting to keep their teens’ lives private and other times I think because they’re afraid to be judged. I understand both of these reasons. I have a twenty year old, a seventeen year old, and a thirteen year old. All three of them are girls. Each of them have had different kinds of scenarios they have been through. I rarely have ever been able to use the same method of parenting with all three of them. Each of them is unique and requires that my husband and I be creative in our parenting.
I think it’s imperative that we find a way to share our stories of parenting so we can lift each other up, offer resources, and most of all love each other in the storms. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a place where we will say we have all the answers. Every family is different. Yet I also don’t think we should wait on sharing parts of our stories with each other.
Silence can be deadly.
My husband and I have lived the hard life, then got help. We’ve been through a lot in our lives and then gave ten years of our lives to helping people get clean from addiction, go through drug court programs, and counsel their families through reconciliation. Then our kids become teenagers. Need I say more?
Raising teenagers is harder than helping another family, you know why? Because when it’s YOUR teenagers, it’s YOU who can’t sleep at night. When it’s someone else’s family, I sleep fine.
source Lady Jess
Some nights seem like bliss while other nights I want to pull my hair out. Can you relate?
None of us are alone. Christian parents aren’t immune to unfortunate events and bad choices. Even when we think we’re making the best and most ‘biblical’ decisions, we can still suffer negative consequences. No Christian family has ever gotten a spiritual vaccination that eliminates the chances of walking in darkness from time to time. I think the sooner new admit this to ourselves and to one another the sooner we can start really living y faith and having the freedom to be authentic.
“Yes, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me.”
We will all have dark valleys that we must travel through. Sometimes we wander into such valleys by mistake and sometimes we’re thrown into them without our consent.
This is life. It happens.
I’ll be sharing some things we have faced in our years of parenting teens while doing my best to respect parts of my childrens’ stories. I need to know that my experiences are not just valuable to my own growth as a parent, but also to be of help to others.
- I know how hard it is to ask for help when you don’t know who you can trust.
- I know what it’s like to not sleep at night due to my children’s choices.
- I know what it’s like to be judged by other parents.
- I know what it’s like when my teens come home angry because the kids in the church overheard their parents talking about something I confided in them about.
- I know what it’s like when my teens get upset over the shunning they get at youth group because someone found out we, as the parents, have a ‘past’.
- and so much more.
Even more important;
I know how important it is to allow ourselves and our teens to have grace.
There are times when the church solution is the wrong solution for your situation. You’ll have nights where you must rely on faith to get you through the dark valley, with absolutely no promise that your teens won’t get hurt. Many parents experience removal from ministry due to their children’s choices.
source Lady Jess
I am willing to bet more of us go through these things than we realize.
Are you a parent of teens or your children are now adults?
Can you relate?