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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,” says Solomon, and “the fruit of the womb a reward.” But to hear it from others, you might think those words don’t apply to teenagers. “Just wait until they’re sixteen,” you often hear older parents say, with a knowing look in their eye. “You think parenting is hard now? Just you wait.” Ever since our children were born—the boy to some degree, but even more so the girls—we’ve been warned about the teenage years, and we have approached them with some trepidation.
Now, with my youngest having just turned thirteen and my eldest not yet twenty, we are in a brief period where all we’ve got is teenagers. And I’m glad to report that those skeptics were wrong. These aren’t the worst years, but the best. I wouldn’t say they are the easiest years, but they’re undoubtedly the most joyful. I absolutely love parenting teenagers, and here are a few of the reasons why.
Teenagers - Discipline - Stage - Days - Parenting
I love parenting teenagers because it means we’re mostly past the discipline stage. So much of the early days of parenting is trying to teach children not to grievously harm themselves or others. It’s trying to instill within them some basic human morality and some basic social skills. “Don’t touch that. Don’t bite him. Don’t say that word. Don’t go outside naked.” Children are born rebellious and foolish and the early years of parenting are spent convincing them to obey and be wise. These are precious years and often fun years, but it has been a joy to see them give way to another stage of parenting. Parenting teenagers involves a lot less discipline and a lot more persuasion, a lot less “obey me” and a lot more “well, what do you think?” I’ve loved seeing the discipline stage give...
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