It is easy to let the days rush by and not be purposeful in making time to talk with our children. Here are a few reminders of important things your teens need to hear from you.
1. I love you. You send your teen out into a world where many people want to tear them down. Let them know you love them unconditionally. Home should be the safe place where they know they are loved.
2. I am available to talk at any time. Teens tend to hold things in and then want to talk at the most inopportune time. Don’t put them off! Make yourself stop what you are doing and give them your undivided attention. Your message to them should be, “I have time for you.”
3. You can tell me/ask me anything. No topic should be off limits. Wouldn’t you prefer your teen ask you about those sensitive subjects rather than one of their peers? While this may bring up some uncomfortable feelings for you as a parent, welcome the opportunity to share this moment with your teen. If you are uncertain of how to respond, ask your teen for some time to gather your thoughts. Be open and honest with them. They will respect you for it. This is your chance to share your values and morals with your teen.
4. God made you just the way you are and He has a special plan for your life. Each person is unique and has God given talents and abilities. Help your teen discover their special talents and abilities. Give them the tools to succeed in life. Faith in God and His plan for their life will give your teen hope for the future.
5. Respect yourself and those around you. Teach your teen to be respectful to others. Teach them social skills. Role play introducing yourself to someone new. Role play how to respond to rude behavior or bullying situations. It is your job to prepare your teen to face the world. Don’t send them out unprepared.
6. Talk about the importance of respecting your body and treating it with modesty. Teach your girls to dress modestly. Make sure your teens know to NEVER text or post inappropriate photos of themselves or others. You can’t assume that your child automatically knows this is wrong. In today’s world, kids see these things all the time. Prepare them and teach them what is right.
7. Ask them how you can pray for them. Let them know that you think of them and pray for them throughout the day. Remind them that God sees them and cares about everything that happens to them. Keep a prayer list with them and write down how God answers your prayers. It is encouraging and builds our faith when we look back and see how God has worked in our lives. Teach your teen to rely on God.
What do you feel is most important to communicate to your teen?