Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thoughts on Raising "Teens"


Last night we had a Mom's Meeting for our co-op. We were having a meeting on pre-teens and teens, and wanted to discuss some issues, but also encourage moms of teens.


The first thing I shared was that the term "teenager" is not a biblical term. The bible uses the term "youth" and that refers most of the time to a young man who was not married. Somewhere in the last 100 years of history, Western culture has brought forth this idea of teenagers. Our Amish neighbors in the county have their children finish school at eighth grade and become apprentises in real work. The girls may work for a shop or work at home, the boys work on the farm or as a carpenter etc...They have value as young adults.


Many parents have taken on the responsibility of teaching their children at home. Some do not. But what every parent must do is to take on the responsibility to teach our children to follow God, as He has directed our family. Sometimes, people think we must allow "professionals" to do that. So the Sunday School teacher, the Pastor, the youth workers are left to impart "godliness" to children and youths. But what if you are teaching your child modesty and the youth worker doesn't have the same view of modesty? You have put your child under their authority as well, and now your view and the youth workers are in conflict.


I believe it is the responsibility of parents to be the primary influencers of their children, and to decide who else gets to influence them. We take seriously the raising of our children. We take care what they watch, listen to, read. We are the ones who introduce the world to them, as they are going to have to live in the world as adults, but we do it from a Biblical Worldview. Please don't think that our children are hidden away! They are not! They have alot of interaction with adults, kids, family members.


I firmly believe that our children need to be given alot of responsibility. This brings maturity. To learn skills and master them, gives confidence. My two oldest girls are quite capable of running a household. The can cook, do laundry, care for children. They know how to care for their animals, and to do lawn care and gardening. The comment we hear most often about them is that they are lovely girls and so mature!


So many parents today, don't want to give their kids too much to do. They feel it isn't fair to the kids. This brings on this idea of childhood being a time set apart only for fun, and not as preparation for adulthood. Now we have "adults" who want to hang on to childhood, they work to pay for their "fun". They don't want too many responsibilities, and why should they? They were not prepared for them in their youth.


Our culture is child centered, it is all about the kids; soccer practice and games, music lessons, camp, shopping, cellphones etc...I woman who said she couldn't have more children as they could not afford to add on more bedrooms to their house, as all the children must have their own bedrooms!


I have had conversations with parents who don't know what to do about their kids clothing, or being boy crazy etc....I want to encourage them that as the primary influencer of their kids, not to wait until they are older, but begin when they are young. Teach them the things God is teaching you, share with them the Heart God has toward them and all He has for them to do. Teach them to honor and respect you and others, and themselves.


Our goal in raising our children is to bring them to maturity and adulthood. We want our daughters to be feminine, our sons manly. We want them to serve the Lord, in the way that God leads them.


7 comments:

  1. This is so very true. I was one of those children, who had dance lessons, track, was a cheerleader, in band... I had so much I was doing along with going to school. I didn't have to learn to run a household. Saturdays were the cleaning day, but otherwise I should be a kid. My mom still sees it this was and think Brook and I are too hard on the kids with them helping out with household chores. They like it and that needs to stay, because I hate cleaning. I have had to train myself to become a woman of God, instead of being prepared for adulthood. I didn't even learn to brown hamburger until I was married. Sad I know :( But hopefully we will prepare our children. Thanks for the encouragement. Love you! - Nicole

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  2. Now it is my turn to say "Amen!"
    You know I agree with you!
    Becky K.

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  3. Auntie Dee-

    What I was a about 13 my parents gave me some chores, like windexing the windows and emptying the bathroom trashes-not a big deal. I was not allowed to go out on the weekend with friends until those chores were done. My poor mom struggled because I was constantly complaining about doing them, now I look back and think this was so good to learn!! I hated to do them, but now that I am older I understand why. I did have dance lessons, soccer etc, but these were taken away for bad behavior at times.

    I agree, the primary reason of child raising is to raise Godly children who will go out and live their lives for Christ. Parents are there to equip their children to learn to live right.

    My friends roomate, this is the truth, went to college not knowing how to wash dishes! My friend had to teach her. This poor girls parents did everything for her and never taught her how to live by doing simple chores. They thought they were doing her service but really it was disservice!

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  4. I totally and completely agree and couldn't have said it better!

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  5. Alicia,

    You are right, it is a disservice! I don't mean to say that my kids are always happy with the responsibilities, but they do like knowing how to do things!

    I appreciate all the positive feedback to this post!

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  6. Mrs. Rabe,
    Please come to It's About Friends to Pick up something...from Chelsea.

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  7. I REALLY wish I could have made it to this mom's meeting in particular. I hope you plan to do this topic again!! :)
    Sue Maser

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