A dictionary definition of a “prodigal” is “one who spends or gives lavishly and foolishly.” You may think your teenager is acting like a prodigal these days, but have you considered that according to this definition, you may be the prodigal yourself?
In a world where parents indulge their kids with everything they want, it would seem that these kids would be especially grateful. Instead, a generation has become selfish, self-centered, and unprepared for real life.
Every parent of a teenager wants to build a strong line of communication with his or her teen. But sadly, the opposite is most often true. I’d like to share with you some simple tips to improve your communications with your teen.
Some young people today live in a world that goes “over the edge.” The “edge” of pain doesn’t stop them in their pursuit of eliminating boredom and creating excitement. Piercing, branding, cutting, tattoos, cosmetic surgery, reality shows, and expressive and permissive movies are now a part of the culture. Some say that kids are more “daring” and “extreme.” I say they’re numb and dissatisfied…and pain is a way for some to remind themselves that they’re still alive, a comment I hear from a number of cutters. Sadly, finding a kid who “cuts” (a form of self harm) is pretty common today. A topic that 20 years was unheard of on the radio or in Christian social circles is the focus of many discussions among parents and commonplace among teens.
Some parents mix the idea of rule-making with ruling their home. Reasonable rulemaking and proper boundaries will help a teenager mature into a confident adult, while living under a “ruler” can lead to frustration, rebellion and eroded self-esteem. Which kind of home is yours? One that has rules or one that is ruled?
Recently, on our Parenting Today’s Teens radio program, my guest and good friend, Dr. Melody Rhode commented that the death of a child is such a catastrophic experience in the life of parents; it leads 90% of those marriages to fail. A shocking statistic, isn’t it?
When a teenager’s behavior is way out of line, when he or she crosses established boundaries and offends us and makes us angry, it is easy to think he or she doesn’t deserve grace. But that may be exactly the right time to give it.
It’s been said that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And teens? Well, they seem to be from a completely different universe! Sure, teenagers look human, but the way they speak, the way they dress, and the things they value all seem to point to an origin in a galaxy far, far away.