Yesterday was historic for my wife and me. Our youngest turned 20! We have left behind the often feared phase of parenting teenagers. Our other three children are 23, 25, 27. Two of them are about to plunge us into an entirely new phase: Grand-parenting! Any day now!
Parents of teens
For the past 15 years, each Wednesday night, I’ve led a parents of teens group in our Church. Last night, I tried to convince the group that I was no longer eligible to be part. They rejected my suggestion claiming that now I should have all the answers. Answers? I have a few but the jury is still out on others.
We have two non-negotiable rules for participating in our group. 1. Don’t be the answer man when people share their struggles. 2. Whatever is shared of a personal nature stays in this room.
We’ve walked closely with many parents of teens over these years and graduated many form our group. I asked them last night if parenting is one of the most challenging tasks they’ve ever done. All agreed and we talked about the kinds of challenges we face. What a blessing to share this journey with caring friends who listen to us and pray for us.
Since people read this blog from many different places, I encourage you to start or find a parents of teens group if you’re in this phase of parenting. Some of the best books we’ve discussed together include:
- Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, P & R Publishing, November,1997 (Paul Tripp)
- And Then I Had Teenagers: Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Preteens, Susan Alexander Yates
- Building a Home Full of Grace, John W. Yates, Susan Yates.
- Emotionally Healthy Teenagers, (Jay Kesler)
- Relief For Hurting Parents: How To Fight For The Lives Of Teenagers: How To Prepare Younger Children For Less Dangerous Journeys Through Teenage Years by Buddy Scott and R. A. “Buddy” Scott