Teenagers are at a critical stage in their life where they are searching for direction, identity, and significance. As parents, it is our responsibility to obtain a biblical worldview to help set the foundation to the security in our teens. Owning a biblical worldview is the key to all aspects of reality and truths necessary for parenting.
Teenagers may not seem to want boundaries, but in all actuality they do. As parents, we need to set the guidelines on aspects such as; who your teen’s friends are, and even in how they dress. Here are 2 challenges parents overlook:
The Importance of Modesty
Is it important how your teen dresses? Absolutely, it’s a battle worth fighting for. How we look on the outside has a lot to do with what’s going on in the inside. Your teen’s spiritual well-being is displayed in how they dress. On a subconscious level, what’s going on with their spiritual dimension will manifest itself through their external appearance. In most cases, the teen is not aware this is happening. When you let your child go out the door looking like a “gang-banger” and you say nothing to them, unconsciously this sends a message that you do not care how they feel on the inside. Unintentionally, it tells the teen that you don’t care what makes them significant.
Ironically, when your child is dressed like a “gang-banger” they will attract that very same type of kid. Kids want their parents to rescue them, to give them boundaries and guidelines in which to live. This gives them the security they need. Biologically they aren’t mature enough to make good decisions on their own. They may think they are old enough, and consequently lead you to believe likewise. God has wired our kids, and us, to know deep in our heart of hearts what is right and wrong. We know intrinsically because we are wired with the attributes of God. Keep “in-check” with what your son and daughter is wearing. If you disapprove, then it is your responsibility to tell them you disapprove.
The Importance of Peer Selection
Do you have a right to dictate who your teen’s friends are? Yes, you have a right to whom you allow in your home. However, if your teen has a friend whom you do not care for, you probably would rather they meet at your house. This would give you the opportunity to get to know them, witness to them and share your influence on their life. To expound on a saying from Josh McDowell: “Our relationships produce our beliefs; our beliefs form our values; our values drive our behaviors; our behaviors influence our attitudes; our attitudes develop our personality; our personality attracts our relationships.”
As you see, it all starts with relationships. In most cases, the very first relationship your child has starts with Mom and Dad. Therefore, as parents, you help produce the belief system in your child. Spend time with them to help them form good values, and they won’t want to hang out with the wrong crowd or wear inappropriate clothing. The good values they form will reflect in their behavior, and you will have less negative issues at home to deal with. As their good behavior will influence their attitude, which shapes their personality, this in-turn will help them attract healthy relationships. You will not only like your child better, you’ll probably like the friends and clothes they choose as well.
What are some other areas that you see parents overlook that need to be addressed?