Preparing for the Teenage Years

Age thirteen is an important milestone in the life of your child. Your teenager is beginning to emerge into adulthood. These years are difficult; the process of maturing from child to adult is challenging. Think of all that has to happen in a few short years. The parent-child relationship must change from total dependence, obedience and submission to relative independence; respect and honor instead of immediate obedience; and unmediated accountability to God and church, apart from parents. This is a drastic change. Sometime it seems that within mere moments your child has left home and been replaced with this teenager person. This person is the same one that was born some thirteen years earlier. But he is also quite different. The "switch" to teenager is often traumatic for all concerned. The parents really weren't expecting him and often neither was the teenager. So everyone may be surprised. The new teenager is feeling, thinking, wondering, exploring about things that are new to him as well. New things are happening to his body. Hair is growing in new places. A boy's voice changes. A girl's body takes on a different shape. It also changes on the inside and is now ready to produce children. Body chemistry is different. Life is different. Imagine the following scenario.

Suppose I told you that you were going to have a house guest in your home thirteen years from now. This house guest would most likely be quite different from the people now in your home. You would not have the option to decide whether or not this new guest would come. You would be required to provide all of his support and be responsible for his actions as soon as he comes into your home. He might be argumentative and selfish. Furthermore, this new guest would be residing in your home for at least six years. Remember, you don’t have a choice as to whether this new guest comes or not.

[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]