What’s happening between parents and teens nowadays?

| March 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Parents are urged to start bonding with their children early – when they are infants and toddlers, through childhood years – to prevent future fighting and stress.

Footsteps in Faith


Chaplain (Maj.) Brian Hargis
25th Sustainment Brigade
25th InfantryDivision
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Have you ever seen a parent and their teenager arguing and fighting?

Recently, I was shopping at the Schofield Barracks Post Exchange and witnessed a mother and daughter yelling at each other. I couldn’t tell the difference between the parent and the child!

This type of interaction is not uncommon anymore. Parents are frustrated. Teens are unhappy. Relationships are strained, and homes are full of disrespect and division, rather than love and unity.

There is a spirit of rebellion that is prevalent in youth culture, but it doesn’t need to be that way in our homes.

As parents, we are the gatekeepers. It’s our responsibility to train up our children in such a manner that we cultivate a relationship that will be positive and loving throughout the teen years – but it must start long before they turn into teenagers – it has to start as infants.

Here are two basic characteristics that children need early in life in order to mature into respectable teenagers…

  1. Understanding that “NO” means “NO.”
    Children need to know and believe that your “no” means “no.” There are plenty of “yeses” that you’ll give in a lifetime, but when your “no” changes to “yes” or resorts to “keep badgering me and I’ll cave in,” then you are creating a little monster that grows into a big monster.
    A child without discipline/self-restraint will argue and disrespect you as a teen – just like what I witnessed in the PX. Without drawing the line in the sand and sticking to your guns, you’ll be scratching your head later in life and asking, “Where did I go wrong?”
    It’s all in the simple building blocks. Your “no” must always mean “no.”
  1. Show open affection.
    Perhaps you were raised with an absence of love and affection. Maybe you seldom heard the words “I love you” or you were not squeezed with a hug that said “You are awesome.” If that’s the case, it’s time for you to break the mold and be the parent your children need because open affection is one of the greatest needs in child development.

Footsteps in FaithOpenly confirm and reaffirm your love for your children. Shower them with hugs and kisses. Read a book to them. Play with their toys. Chase them with squirt guns. Ride bikes. Play hide-and-go-seek. Laugh and live life! Take the time to enjoy them while they are young because, before you know it, they’ll be grown and out of the home.

If you teach them to respect “no” and build those loving, strong bonds while they are young, they’ll be less likely to disrespect you as a teenager, and you won’t be fighting about an item in the PX!

The combination of these two basic characteristics will produce a teenager that has discipline, self-restraint and is reciprocal of love to the parents … and that makes a united home!

Be blessed and not stressed.
(Editor’s note: Hargis is the senior pastor, IMPACT Chapel at Helemano Military Reservation.)  


Category: Standing Columns

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