Thursday, April 30, 2009

Family Friday

"Hi, Franklin," said the nervous voice on the other end of the line. It was the mom of one of my (youth group) teens.
"Ummm, I’m sorry to call at such a late hour. Is there…any way you could come over to the house for a little bit? We need your help. Our son has locked himself in his room and won’t talk to us. He’s pretty upset."
As I entered the house, Dad sat in a recliner, putting on a good face (for the youth minister) but obviously angry. You could actually smell tension in the air. After getting a report from Mom and Dad, I headed up the staircase to coax the teen out of his room and talk to his parents.

In a situation like this, how much privacy do you give your teenager?

How long should you give them to cool down?

First of all, make sure that YOU as a parent have calmed down! In the above-mentioned situation, I could tell the mom was fine, but the dad had not yet calmed down. While you wait, calmly weigh the "worth-it" scale of this argument. Try to put your logic into better words instead of "because I told you so!"

Wait long enough for both of you to cool off, but not too long. If you wait too long, your child will think: (1) the issue is closed (this may lead to a bad decision to do it anyway) or (2) that you don't love them (I know this is a little unfair, but that's the way they feel!) If you let this go on too long, the "No Parents Allowed" sign will go up on their door! Don't let that happen.

I am a firm believer in Ephesians 4:26 - "'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry..." Solve all your problems before the day is over. Either compromise, apologize, or promise to talk about the issue again tomorrow.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS end your talk with a sincere "I love you" and a meaningful (appropriate) touch. Hugs, kisses, tousling their hair, wrestling...all these are great. This shows your child that THEY are more important than the issue at hand. Unfortunately, as our children enter pre-teen years, we stop the hugs and touches because we believe they don't want/need them any more. Trust me, even if they cringe, they want AND need those hugs from you!

1 comment:

Aunt Shelly said...

Thanks for the post,could have used it 2 years ago,Taylor loved to lock hisself in his room. But through faith and prayer we are seeing this young teen turn into a man,hard to believe he will be 18.He has found his discipline in sports and was set aside the other night at a huge program as an example of his hard work and dedication to his love of football,for him it has been the thing that kept him out of trouble all these years,so hats off to ministers ,mentors and strong willed coaches.Coach told the crowd watch this boy next year in football.Yea pray for scholarships,and better grades would be nice!