Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens

Think carefully about your family's relationship to the church

The church we choose to become a part of will have a vital and undeniable influence on every member of our family. The church has a tremendous capacity to help both the family and our emerging adolescent. Conversely, it is possible for the atmosphere of the church to be detrimental to the growth of the young person and the family as well.

The church can provide a place where truth can be presented across the generations. As parents and children sit together listening to the same message, they may have different responses, but if parents will seek to have conversations about what they heard in church, they may get insights into how their children are thinking. It's possible they'll hear that their children are tuned out completely. That is important to know. The parent might consider offering an incentive for "answers" to specific questions gleaned from the Sunday morning message—extra game time, television time, maybe even money! It's possible your teen might consider listening in order to pocket some change. And he may hear something that will stick.

The church can provide a supportive extension of the family's values. This may be the only place in the teenager's world (aside from the family) that he hears a message that provides a restraining check on questionable activities. The church family, including youth leaders your teen likes and respects, can provide listening ears and counsel—someone to talk to besides Mom and Dad.

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May 25

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