How Do You Transition Your Parenting Style As Children Grow?

Dear Roger,



My kids are growing up to be teenagers. The way I have been disciplining them does not seem to work. They tell me I treat them like babies and that I am over-protective and controlling. What should I do? We are growing farther and farther apart.



Your Friend,


Sharon



Dear Sharon,



Passing on your values and life to your children is a lot like running a relay race. Any track coach will tell you that relay races are won or lost in the transfer of the baton.



I. LET ME OVERVIEW GOD’S PLAN WITH YOU.


A. Children need a Directive parenting style. They have much to learn and are open to hear.


B. As they become teenagers, God intends for parents to transition into a Coaching, Mentoring style.


C. Eventually, God loves to see us transition into an Adult Friends relationship with our children which is filled with mutual respect, love, honor and trust.


D. Finally, when our parents are old and needy, the child becomes the parent.



II. LET ME SHARE WITH YOU FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE THE TRANSITIONAL HANDOFFS THAT OCCURRED IN THE LIFE OF JESUS.


A. Mary and Joseph parented Jesus in his early years with a highly directive parenting style, as it should be (Luke 2:40 Luke 1:80).


B. At the onset of adolescence at the age of twelve, Mary and Joseph transitioned into a coaching and mentoring parenting style (Luke 2:40: 41-52).


C. When Jesus began His adult years of ministry the relationship transitioned into adult friends (John 2:3-5).

D. Finally, hanging on the cross, while dying for our sins, the Son became the Parent (John 19:25-27).


III. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME?

A. Godly Parenting During The Childhood Years Means Understanding And Following The Guidelines Of Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up (nurture) in the training  and instruction of the Lord.

1. Nurturing Love looks like intimacy, comfort, meeting needs, and security.

2. Training involves communicating Godly principles for life from the Bible (especially Proverbs).

3. There are four keys to Godly Discipline (Proverb 29:15, 17).


While today’s society tells us that children are basically good and seem surprised when something bad pops up, the Bible teaches just the opposite. It is matter of world-view.


Proverbs 22:15: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”


a. A deep relationship exists between the parent who disciplines and the child undergoing discipline.


b. Godly discipline awakens the conscience to the truth there is a righteous Judge over us whose laws and principles transcend every dimension of life—for our own good.


c. Godly discipline intertwines the Biblical twins of fear and love.


d. The parent takes on the role of a priest who mediates forgiveness and reconciliation.



What about the use of corporal punishment? The forms of discipline morph and change continually as the child grows older.

B. As Adolescence Begins, Parents Transition Into The Role Of Mentor And Coach.

1. The basic teaching is finished.  Now parents just add a few footnotes.

2. This is the era when adolescents trade their parents in for their peers. Don’t fight this. God has genetically hardwired this transition into the teenage years. Encourage your teen’s relationships with Godly peers. Like, get them involved with church!

3. Listen Intently. Don’t Always Try To “Fix It”.

4. Choose Your Battlegrounds Carefully.

5. Set Teenagers Free To Test Their Wings.

6. Affirm Every Manifestation Of Maturity.

7. Pray For A Miracle.

When my children were young, I prayed these things daily for my children:


a. For God to protect my kids—from harm, evil in general and from evil people
b. For their spiritual growth and vitality. Courageous choices for God at the intersections of their lives
c. For their relationships and friends
d. For Sexual purity, honesty, ethics, values and character
e. For their school work
f.  For their joy and happiness
g. For their lives’ calling. To know and pursue the calling of God and that they would love what they do some day
h. For their future marriage partners—his life, purity, calling and character development



C. During The Adolescent Years Plan To Transition With Your Children In To A Relationship Of Adult Friends.


D. Be Ready For The Days When The Child Becomes The Parent.

IV. LET ME SHARE A FEW CLOSING WORDS.

A. Some of you did not do your own adolescence well.  You rebelled, you puffed out your chest and went off on a tangent. Some of you are still bearing the scars.



B. Some of you parents messed up when your kids were going through adolescence.  Some of you need to stop bearing the load of guilt about that and get it covered at the cross.



C. Some of you did really well during the time your kids were going through adolescence and the truth is, you did not mess up, your child messed up.  You’ve lived with an unbelievable burden that it is all your fault. You need the Holy Spirit to say, “Let it go.  It was their choice.  Let it go.”

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