Friday, October 7, 2011


Have you been lying sleepless in your bed of late? Do pictures flash in your mind of your teenager racing his car in the streets or your daughter abusing alcohol and getting in sexual dilemmas at the parties she attends? We hold our breath and pray our children will survive the teen and young adult years. There are so many distractions for a young driver these days, they don’t have to be racing to be in danger. The “what if’s” are enough to make us crazy.
Dr. Daniel G. Amen offers validity to these fears in his book, “Magnificent Mind at Any Age”:
“Teens do best when their parents know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. Teens do best when they know their parents check on them. You need to be your teen’s prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that provides supervision, judgment, and impulse control), until they can properly monitor themselves. The prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until we are twenty-five years old, so even supervising young adults is appropriate.”
A parent’s job is not complete when their children are able to take the keys and live more independently. We get confused about our parenting role in this American culture. So, what can we do? Do we follow our children everywhere; hiding behind trees and trucks to spy on their every move? Do we attach a GPS to their cell phones?
Active parenting includes asking questions, checking out our teen’s plans, and supervising certain situations. But, we must also learn to give our teens growing independence and practical tools to make their own healthy, godly choices. If we are the ones making all the decisions for them and shielding them from life’s experiences, they will never learn from mistakes and struggles. But where do we begin?
A parent’s wise Christ-centered instruction helps to grow children spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. The instruction is deliberate. In Proverbs we read about the father teaching his son to get wisdom and instructing him not to forget it. He instructs his son not to turn away from his father’s words, but accept them fully. What are the results for the children who have been instructed and have chosen to honor their parents’ words? Wisdom will guard them and keep them from stumbling. Now that’s what a teen’s mind needs!
Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight
Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away
from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Proverbs 4:1,5-6,10-13


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