Lesson 9: Leading Children Through Adolescence And Youth
Children grow up so fast, faster than many parents wish for. Parents are often thrust into the next level of challenges with their children before they are quite ready for it. Adolescents begin to think for themselves and want more freedom for their own ideas while still relying heavily on parents for some things. They begin to understand right and wrong, and can see problems in others’ lives so clearly. They look for acceptance, love, self-worth, and compliments.
7 The beginning of wisdom, get wisdom, and with all thy possession purchase prudence.
8 Take hold on her, and she shall exalt thee: thou shalt be glorified by her, when thou shalt embrace her.
9 She shall give to thy head increase of graces, and protect thee with a noble crown.
10 Hear, O my son, and receive my words, that years of life may be multiplied to thee.
11 I will shew thee the way of wisdom, I will lead thee by the paths of equity:
12 Which when thou shalt have entered, thy steps shall not be straitened, and when thou runnest thou shalt not meet a stumblingblock.
13 Take hold on instruction, leave it not: keep it, because it is thy life.
14 Be not delighted in the paths of the wicked, neither let the way of evil men please thee.
15 Flee from it, pass not by it: go aside, and forsake it.
- How can you help your children understand that wisdom comes from outside themselves and not from their own opinions?
- How can you help children value advice and criticism from their siblings and not react in argumentation?
My son, attend to my wisdom, and incline thy ear to my prudence.
2 That thou mayst keep thoughts, and thy lips may preserve instruction. Mind not the deceit of a woman.
3 For the lips of a harlot are like a honeycomb dropping, and her throat is smoother than oil.
4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down into death, and her steps go in as far as hell.
6 They walk not by the path of life, her steps are wandering, and unaccountable.
7 Now therefore, my son, hear me, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the doors of her house.
9 Give not thy honour to strangers, and thy years to the cruel.
10 Lest strangers be filled with thy strength, and thy labours be in another man's house,
11 And thou mourn it the last, when thou shalt have spent thy flesh and thy body, and say:
12 Why have I hated instruction, and my heart consented not to reproof,
13 And have not heard the voice of them that taught me, and have not inclined my ear to masters?
- What did this parent do to equip his son to be faithful in his morals?
- List some safeguards you should have in place in your families to protect from casualty in their morals.
One of the transitions that need to take place during adolescence is the shift from external controls to internal controls. Your teaching and rules needs to trans-late into personal convictions and internal restraint in your children. A good con-science is an integral part of this.
- What is involved in developing a good conscience in your children?
- How can you help your children to not only know truth but understand it and embrace it for themselves?
- How can you know if the internal controls are working in your child?
- The following points bear consideration when relating to adolescents and youth:
- Treat them with love at all times –not frustration or anger.
- Discipline when children are young in preparation for adolescence and youth.
- Be clear but firm with directions without threatening or nagging.
- Listen to them and try to understand them.
- Joyfully answer their questions and be open for more.
- Don’t be afraid or intimidated by them.
- Expect obedience regardless of age.
- Believe in their sincerity and put them on their honor until proven otherwise. Even then show them the way back to trustworthiness.
- Keep giving advice even when it doesn’t seem that they appreciate it.
- Express appreciation for their good behavior and choices.
- For what reasons might a father feel intimidated by his youth? And how can he overcome this fear?
- What are ways fathers can stay in touch with their children as they mature and become more independent.
- Discuss some ways to help adolescents with their desire for more freedom and space.
- How much should parents be involved in the purchases their youth make? Cars? Clothing? Hobbies?
- What are some hindrances to openness between parents and youth?