I don’t mean to always argue with you. Honest, I don’t. I know you think I’m rebellious. I’m not, I’m just trying to be me. The problem is, I don’t know who I am right now. That’s why I wrote you this note.
I can’t tell you this face-to-face because I love you too much and don’t want to hurt your feelings. I can’t bear to see your eyes tear up when I try to tell you how I feel. It makes it harder for me to talk. So I shut down.
I love you. Oh, I know you can’t tell by the way I act, but I really do.
7 Ways to Prepare Your Teen to Move Out
There comes a time when your teen grows up and moves out. They might be leaving for college, to live with some friends, to get married, or to learn how to manage life on their own. Regardless of the reason parents can strengthen the relationship by preparing them for that day during the teen years.
At a recent speaking engagement I was asked what we did to prepare our teens for life on their own. I had to think about that for a few minutes. I began by reminding the parents that moving out is a normal part of the growing up process. It might be difficult to pack them up and send them on their way, but it will be okay.
That got me thinking, I should share them with you as well. So I put together 7 practical ideas we have used over the years to prepare our children for the day they would move out on their own.
What Do Teens Need Most?
When your toddlers fell into a big mud puddle or intentionally filled their overalls with mud pies, how did you respond? Was there was a smile of disbelief or a look of horror as they climbed into your freshly cleaned van? No matter how hard it was to avoid the temptation of disowning them, under all that mud, there still was your tangled-hair, smiling, freckled, little kids.
As your teens mature, they will get dirty and muddy again. This world is a mess. In reality, they are facing things you did not face in high school. Whether they go to public school or are home educated, they will still have to interact with and learn how to operate in this messy world. I can guarantee you they will fall and get mud all over them. Whether it’s because they jumped in headfirst or someone slung it at them, they now have to deal with the fact that life isn’t as clean and clear as it was when they were younger.
Young people understand that rules need to be in place and adults need to be respected, but they also want to know that their parents won’t disown them because of their mud. Even if your child has been in willful sin for a long while, don’t stop loving them. This will mean the world to them later.
It is exhausting and so incredibly hard to go that extra mile; especially after a rough day and all you want to do is collapse on your bed. You don’t want one more person calling for you to fix their problems. How can you possibly help your confused teenager know that you love them if you don’t even have time or energy to read a book about love languages?
There are different ways to show love. Some of them you probably excel in, while others are harder for you to give. Allow me to help define love for you.
Teach your children well. This statement is something a parent hears many times. I sure did. When you are in the middle of raising children, building a family and managing a busy life it is hard to know if what you are focused on is really going to matter. Or if you are doing it well.
For years, we trained our children important life skills, to know and love God, and to rely on family. We encourage them to learn God’s Word and to be encouraged by His faithfulness. We were discouraged when we saw little or no fruit. But, we continued on and waited.
Do Teens Really Have it Easy?
Statistics show parents tend to think their teens have life so easy. I can see why some would; teens are often given cars, cell phones, computers, and a host of gadgets that connect these relationally driven young people to the world. Even though they may have more technology most parents just don’t understand the struggles teens face every single day. I recognize their struggles may not be as complex as what adults have to work through… but to our teen, it’s just as difficult.
Teens are bombarded with information on a continual basis. Yet having the ability to fully process all that comes their way is more than they are usually able to handle. In some ways, it is like giving a 12 year old the keys to the car when they haven’t learned the rules of the road and can’t see over the dashboard. They may think they can drive, but I doubt many parents would agree.
Teens don’t have the processing capabilities that their parents have. While they want to have more and more freedom, they simply might not be ready for it.
So what’s a parent to do? I encourage you to try and understand how you can help them!