How to be a Good-Enough parent to your teenagers.
None of us had a formal training to be a parent, a father or a mother. We get married and we have children. Then we begin to wonder; how can I be a good parent? Many of us learn by trial and error which is painful to everyone and at times it becomes a hit or a miss success. If you ask other parents you may only find stories of their successes or failures which do not apply to you.
Dr. Dobson says frequently “Parenting Is Not for Cowards.” I agree with him and I add that “Parenting Is a Rewarding and Hard Work of Unconditional, Constant and Educated Love.”
Here are a few points about how to be a Good-Enough Parent which you need to know and to master.
1.Love your spouse unconditionally and constantly. Half of the internal structure of your child depends on the image of your spouse in the family.
2.Respect your spouse continuously. Never have disrespectful acts or gestures against your spouse. Resolve your conflicts and differences with utmost love and respect.
3.Teach the children of all ages the Ten Commandments. Teach them over and over every day in their life. They will keep your children safe and right. Teach them in a simple, concrete manner about God’s moral laws to protect them physically and emotionally.
4.Teach the child about God the Creator and the Provider to bring true sense of security.
5.Teach the child about sin and the Salvation by the blood of the Messiah, Jesus Christ in order to save and redeem the child from his/her sinful nature.
6.Teach and train the children to have faith and to trust in God as they pray to Him always.
7.Educate the child about emotional and physical changes they are going through.
8.Teach children at or before puberty about the sexual physical changes that will occur to them. Talk about sex and body organs from a scientific and factual point of view. Explain the menstrual cycle to your young girls. Explain unpredictable erections to your young boys.
9.Encourage your adolescents to have a physically healthy activities and to adopt one or more sports to build their bones and muscles.
10.Warn the children and prevent them from deviant feelings and behaviors which are very common and accepted today in our culture.
11.Talk with your adolescent about self defense being smart to avoid falling into physical fights in the first place. Teach rape awareness and prevention without instilling psychotic fear of all boys or men. Remember, Jesus was a man.
12.Watch for abusive teen relationship signs.
13.Explain the full scope of sexually transmitted infections and explain the epidemic level of incurable STD’s. If you are not aware or sure about the depth of this subject, then seek professional help. (Examples of incurable STD’s: HPV - HIV - AIDS - Hepatitis B - Herpes - CMV.) (Examples of curable in time STD’s: NG Gonorrhoea - Syphilis - Chlamydia - Trichomonas - Bacterial vaginosis - Gardnerella vaginolis - Yeast.)
14.Explain the reality and the common depravity, selfishness and (psychotic) violence in our culture and contrast with the Christian principles of love and relationships. Do not over protect your children, otherwise they will fall victims trusting in others when they are living on their own and thus they will be used and abused by almost everyone.
15.Explain and stress for your children how to have healthy Christian friendships and love. Explain and reject the common Monogamous Prostitution which is called in our culture Boy-Girl friendship and dating. This latter has originated in Europe and Britain during the middle ages to promote hypocrisy in a sexually overt and pervert societies until today.
16.Listen more to them. Engage them in talking to better express themselves.
17.Talk with the adolescents about life and feelings and reflect together and give your feedback. They need and they listen to your feedback even if they appear to reject it.
18.Provide realistic and positive feedback especially when your children are expressing irrational or delusional thoughts or behavior.
19.Set rules that are SMART: Simple + Measurable + Achievable + Realistic + Time limited. Set clear boundaries for behavior at home, at school, school grades, house chores, family roles and relationship behavior.
20.Set clear, realistic and consistent consequences. Rules without consequences would be a big joke.
21.Teach your children to respect God and their bodies. Explain the dangers of needles, piercing and tattooing and forbid such behaviors.
22.Use more of the positive reinforcement to achieve changes in behavior.
23.Remember your adolescent years and be gentle with your children.
24.Allow them to use their primitive emotional defenses and be there to support them.
25.Teach them the High Defenses which will enable them to mature emotionally. J THE ACE SURF
26.Teach the kids about the person of JESUS CHRIST as He will be their model in life. Teach them the logo WWJD as a concrete method of thinking in making moral choices.
27.Teach them to be patient and take their time.
28.Teach them how to have healthy Humor in face of pain and adversity.
29.Teach them to have empathy and understand how others feel. This will help them to mature from their primitive egocentrism which is natural in infants.
30.Teach them about Altruism and sharing with others.
31.Teach them about C
32.Teach them about E
33.Teach them about the Sublimation factor and encourage them to divert and invest their emotions into socially positive actions.
34.Teach them about the different types of love and insist that they live the Unconditional Love as a True Love to everyone.
35.Teach them about R
36.Teach them about F
37.Teach them about the intertwining Responsibility and Rights. “Equal Rights Demand Equal Responsibilities.” Kids usually believe in rights and entitlement without responsibility.
38.Teach them different coping skills to use in different situations in life.
39.Teach them how to set priorities in life and in choices. Priorities: Christ - spouse - children - ministry - career - family of origin - in laws - close friends - neighbors - enemies - strangers.
40.Help the adolescents (after age 12 years old) to move towards independence without giving them full freedom.
41.Engage adolescents in family decisions, activities and responsibilities without giving them power over each other. Parents alone make all decisions.
42.Teach the children how to serve others and how to be respectful and submissive to authority to God first, in the family, in the church, in school and everywhere else.
43.Spend time with your children. Any time spent is a Quality Time. You need to spend a lot of time talking; playing, being active in sports or other activities with your children.
44.Encourage other responsible care-takers to spend time and talk with your children.
45.Do not push for drastic solution always. At the same, ever compromise the moral values of God.
46.Be involved daily in their activities in school, in church, in all other activities.
47.Insist that your children become proactive anti-racists since discrimination develops in children naturally reflecting sin nature processes.
48.Encourage the children to keep a journal.
49.Help your kids to have a positive respectful self-esteem as adolescents are very hard on themselves and they question themselves frequently.
50.Teach adolescents to accept themselves and their failure. “Failure is the Backdoor of Success.”
51.Instill positive respect and pride in self and in family. Develop a sense of belonging in your children.
52.Find Role Models whether in the Bible, in the family, in the church, in school or in the society whether in the past or the present. Encourage the kids to read their biographies and learn about their successes and their weak humanity.
53.Teach children to listen to good and real music, (Classic and romantic without the loud drum noises), as it increase the I.Q. and expand their neurolinguistic brain functioning
54.Avoid watching the television except for a preplanned programs. Protect your children from the violence, sexual promiscuity, soft pornography and our cultural norms which violate the basic human decency and respect. Children believe that television and movies are the only real life.
55.Teach your children about drugs and their physiological and legal consequences. Explain the effects of Nicotine, Alcohol, Heroin, Cocaine, Inhalants, Ecstasy and other drugs and their permanent damage to the lungs, the heart, the liver, the kidneys and the brain (CNS & ANS).
56.Educate your adolescent about the epidemic and the daily and wide use of Date Rape Drugs even by trusted close friends: (1) Rohypnol (Roofies, Forget-me Drug, Forget Pill) and (2) GHB gammahydroxybutyrate (Easy Lay Pill, Georgia Home Boy). Explain the PTSD that may develop even in the absence of conscious memories and also the STI’s and STD’s.
57.Talk with your teenagers openly about the consequences of premarital sex: sexual transmission and sharing of diseases, legal, pregnancies, financial crises, future obligation (for life) and destruction of personal goals, plans and careers.
58.Develop emotional solidarity between you, your spouse and your children.
59.Teach the children by example, by modeling and by words.
60.Provide your children with healthy diet every day.
61.Provide your children with at least eight (8) hours for quiet un interrupted sleep every day.
62.Teach, model and observe the kids in practicing good personal hygiene habits.
63.Eat dinner, breakfast and if possible also lunch together.
64.Pray together every day. Read the Bible or at least a verse together for it is spiritual food.
65.Conduct regular family meetings to allow the kids to solve conflict and express their feelings in a respectful manner.
66.Do not have full trust in the children. Continue to watch over them always.
67.Be proactive in choosing and monitoring constantly your children’s friends.
68.Make sure and verify the moral quality of films, books, clubs, parties and friends of your children.
69.Diversify your children friends and prevent actively cliques, gangs, band or group exclusions. Choose highly moral children for friends.
70. Help your children to have good organizational skills.
71. Look into the future of your children and share your vision about the future with them. Extend their vision to their future. Explore colleges, careers, options and delayed gratification to achieve long-term and higher goals.
72.Watch for syndromes and symptoms of stress, depression, delusions, anorexia, bulimia, binging, phobias, isolation, manias, AGM attention getting behaviors, acting out behaviors, psycho-somatization, factitious sicknesses, aggression, drug use. Seek professional help immediately to save your children.
73.If your child is a victim of or a witness of a violent crime, in school, at home or elsewhere, seek immediate professional Christian counseling for at least six (6) months or more to avoid PTSD or major emotional trauma to settle in and to destroy their future life and relationships. (Examples: assault, mugging, rape, violence, sexual abuse, incest, suicide, detailed graphic description of crimes on television news.)
74.Accept your feeling about your satisfaction, pride in your children or failure with your children.
75.Seek support and guidance from Christian Counselors as you deal with the changes in your adolescent children.
76.Never seek your emotional comfort from your children.
77.Never cross the generational boundaries; whether physical, sexual or emotional even if children allow you or ask you to do so.