It wasn’t a long time ago, when I was watching my two boys growing from babyhood to a childhood. It was cool to see their first steps. Their first words. When they finally able to get dressed by themselves (still working on matching clothes). The day when they learned to use the potty. Those moments were magical, amazing, and a relief to experience.
For many of you, your child has moved from childhood into teenagers and now are transitioning their life into adulthood, which, unfortunately, is not so magical. I have never seen a parent enjoy the transition into adulthood as they enjoyed the childhood transition. You will never hear a parent say, “Let’s have another teenager!” after graduation.
Although it is not as magical (and stressful), it is just as or even more important than any transition period in the child’s life. Because, you are not raising a child anymore, instead you are now raising an adult. They are moving into the society at large and hopefully are guided to become functioning adults who are participating in the greater community.
Important Question To Ask Yourself
If you are a parent of a teenager, this might be the most important question you can ask yourself right now
“Who Do You Want Your Child To Become?”
This question has nothing to do with an occupation or what class you want them to be in, but rather about your child’s identity.
What qualities do you want them to have?
Those things are about their identity, and this should be a question all parents need to ask themselves!
Teenagers Are Not Looking Ahead
Maybe you asking yourself, “Why do I have to answer this question?”
Well, let’s be honest, teenagers don’t think that far in advance. Maybe they have an idea in what they want to do. Maybe they have some schools narrowed down. But they are not thinking of whom they are going to become. That is where you, the parent needs to step in. The parent needs to step in and become an assistant in helping the child transform into something better than they know. They don’t know the benefits of discipline, or patience. They don’t know that being selfless will benefit the community. Those things are so distant from their minds, unless you help them realize the greatness that awaits in them.
It is important to note, how you answer the identity question, will dictate how you parent from this day forward as well.
Who Do You Want Your Teen To Become?
For example, my goal right now for my children is to become a Christian. That means, I need to be the best example of Christ. I need to be able to show grace, mercy, love, compassion, etc…. I need them to understand the importance of the church community without making it a place of burden. I need to pray with them daily. Open His word and express the importance of following them. Be giving. Be forgiving. Be humble.
If I want my child to become this when they are adults, then that needs to be evident in raising them in that direction, but it also needs to evident in my life. I am not a perfect Christian, so that means that I need to continually growing as well. In other words, I need to practice what I preach. I cannot tell my children the importance of this qualities if these qualities are not important to my life.
Try This With Your Family
Take the time this week with your teenager and talk with them about the importance of identity. Talk with them about becoming something greater. Maybe share with them your stories of immaturity and how you have grown over these past decades. Finally, pray with them. Pray with them daily. Pray over them while they are sleeping. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your household, because you are going to need some divine intervention as your teen grows up.