Posts Tagged "teenagers"

Surviving and Thriving as a Parent During the Teenage Years

The following post was written by Reggie Joiner.  Reggie is the brainchild behind the Think Orange movement and has published numerous books on the Orange concept – that parents and the church working together can accomplish more by their combined influence than either working individually. Reggie is a champion of kids both in Children’s Ministry and as a dad.  He is a father who, like all of us, has been through the trials of trying of to figure out how God wants us to raise our kids, and he is willing to share what he has learned.  That is exactly what Dad in the Middle has always been about, and we’re grateful that Reggie agreed to write this article to be published in our little corner of the internet.  As the father of one teenager, and three more in waiting, I am personally grateful for his insights.  Reggie writes more at and and you can follow him on Twitter at

Time flies fast from elementary to college age, so get ready to change your parenting habits. Every child seems to move in warp speed toward the teenage years.

I was caught by surprise when a new declaration of personal independence was automatically assumed the day my son got his driver’s license. It was as though I represented an oppressive and extremely unfair regime whenever I tried to enforce any rule. (Whenever I said no to one of my teenage daughters, she would go to her bedroom, close the door and play Britney Spears’ “Overprotected” over and over again for over an hour, loud enough for me and the whole house to hear.) I have to admit, it was difficult for me to transition from parenting children to parenting teenagers. I had worked with teenagers all of my life, but I had never actually had any living in my home. I am still a recovering parent of teens, but here are a few things I have recognized about this chapter of parenting:

Read More

Ch. 19 – Teenagers: Training Procedures – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 19 – Teenagers: Training Procedures.”

Tripp introduces this chapter as follows:

“I remember thinking that if keeping my children in line depended on me outwitting them, I might fail.  I am now persuaded that raising teenagers is not a matter of out-maneuvering them.  It is much more exciting and satisfying than that.”

Instead, raising teenagers is about internalizing the gospel.  This is the process of them embracing the Christian faith you have been teaching them as their own.  As a parent, our wish for our teenagers is that they develop their own identities as children of God.  The internalization of the gospel in teenagers requires the Holy Spirit in the same way that it does for all believers young and old.

Tripp reminds us that there is no promise to be found in the Bible that our kids will come to faith in Jesus Christ.  Our hope is not in a promise that our kids will come to faith but in the gospel itself which turns sinners to Christ.  Our role as parents during this vital time is to seek to influence them in the internalization of the gospel.

As children become teens, they become more acutely aware of their own sin.  They are also faced with the realization that not everyone believes the same things they have been taught.  As parents, Tripp says our task “is to shepherd and nurture his interaction with the gospel.”

Read More

Ch. 18 – Teenagers: Training Objectives – Shepherding A Child’s Heart (A Synopsis)

Shepherding A Child's HeartIn this installment of our synopsis of Tedd Tripp’s book “Shepherding A Child’s Heart,” we will look at Chapter 18 – Teenagers: Training Objectives.”

Tripp explains that the benchmarks for this period are “the onset of puberty and the time when the child leaves home to establish a home of his own.”  If one words sums up this time in a child’s life, it is insecurity.  The child is no longer a child yet is still not an adult.  They feel vulnerable and worry about their appearance.  They are anxious about their understanding of life and “unstable in the world of ideas.”  They are apprehensive about their personality.  Against this backdrop of insecurity, they are trying to establish their own individual and independent identity.  While kids at this stage of development require more guidance than ever before, they are resistant to any attempt to limit them.

Many times these years are marked by rebellion which can be just an attempt to establish an individual identity.  Other times, though, rebellion could be caused by deeper issues.  In some kids, rebellion is just the expression of something that has been their the whole time.  Tripp does point out though that it is a fallacy to think that a kid becomes a rebel because of the company he keeps.  Rather, he explains, kids who are already rebellious tend to find other rebels to hang out with.

Read More