EVOLVE: Transformative Biblical Counseling Center
|Posted on July 14, 2020 at 5:35 PM|
EVOLVE MONTHLY MOMENTUM
Connecting with your Teen or Tween.
Colossians 3: 21 AMP Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children (with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness), so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated (with their spirits broken).
Teens and tweens have a notorious reputation of being difficult to connect with and understand. Caught somewhere between childhood and burgeoning adulthood they may find the world and their emotions challenging to navigate. While parents may remember what it was like to be a teenager and often have love and wisdom to share we must remember that changing times, social media, and now worldwide pandemic and racial uprisings can make the landscape of childhood more complicated. This is apparent in the current statistics from the American Psychological Association that between 1991 and 2017, suicide attempts among black adolescents increased by 73%, while attempts among white youth decreased, according to an analysis of more than 198,000 high school students nationwide (Lindsey, M.A., et al., Pediatrics, Vol. 144, No. 5, 2019). These statistics are shocking and heartbreaking, but most of all they are a call to action for parents, caretakers, and community. The APA notes that precursors to suicide are trauma, depression, and anxiety. How can we reach our children where they are and instill in them that they are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) - worthy of an abundant life (John 10:10)?
As believers we know to pray over our children, cover them in the blood or Jesus and cast down strongholds, but what can we do as adults caring for children facing the cruel world?
Connect Intentionally: Have a scheduled weekly meeting with your children where you check in about their feelings, speak into their lives, or do a target Bible Study of their choice.
Back to Basics: Domestic life does not always have to be a chore. Plan a family theme dinner, take a cooking class, or money management class, teach the basics of grocery shopping, or do a family book club together.
Exercise together: Exercise… stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators (health.Harvard.edu). Take a walk together, plan a family bike ride or hike. Play a game of basketball. Physical activity as a family allows for bonding, conversation, and a healthy boost!
Social Media: Make yourself a presence on their social media. Do a fun Tik Tok together- learn a choreographed dance, do a makeover, or play a fun game and record it for their followers. Family vlogs about your daily schedule or a road trip are also fun to record and edit for Youtube.
Keep it real! It is natural to want to protect your children from the world, but it’s always best to be direct and honest with your kids. Share your experiences. Seek the Lord for how to navigate challenging topics in your home. Open conversations, strong relationships and the mental health of your children starts with you!
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FREE Talk Sessions available. An Evolve team member is available to help!