Teens, Tweens, and What That Means

Teens_Tweens_and_What_That_MeansAs our children approach adulthood, I find myself pondering the complexities of raising the next generation. If there is one area of pre-adulthood which confuses me, it is the necessity to label our children as “teens” or “tweens”. It seems it wasn’t so long ago you were either a child, a young adult, or an adult. Now, some might argue it is merely semantics. After all, what should it matter the word we use? Bear with me… I am not so sure I agree.

While sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to use words interchangeably, there are some words which should be handled with a little more care. It isn’t the words themselves that pose a problem, but the mentality behind them.

If my child grows up believing they are just “going through the teen years”, might they become lax in their mentality? Will this give them an excuse for their lack of self-control or their desire to be irresponsible? On the flip side, if I expect my children to act like young adults, perhaps they will rise to the occasion. My kids might feel compelled to act in a manner worthy of being adult. When my children act out, instead of brushing it off and saying, “Oh, well. You know teenagers!”, this is the perfect time to redirect them towards a more mature mannerism.

An excellent piece of advice I received early on in my marriage was that people will – generally – attempt to be the kind of person others perceive them to be. For example, if I am constantly proclaiming my husband to be the best guy on earth, he is going to try to live up to my perception of him. Shouldn’t this principle apply to our children as well?

Instead of expecting them to act as “teens”, I prefer to perceive my children as young adults. Will they always act in an adult-like manner? No, but that is part of their training. Referring to them as young adults and treating them as such will not mature them instantly, but it will direct them towards the end goal. Calling my daughters “young ladies” and my son “young man” continually points them in the direction their lives are to be headed. My children are not growing up to be “teens”, but adults.

As we are embarking on territory previously unexplored and attempting to navigate the sometimes tricky paths to maturity. I find myself constantly observing those parents who have gone before, learning what I can and praying about what should be applied in our own lives and home. Perhaps I am over thinking this a bit – I have a tendency to do that – but somehow this small distinction seems to matter a lot.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
~ I Corinthians 13:11

Your Turn!: Parents of young adults, how do you handle the pre-adult stages?

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Teens and Bible Basics

Teens_&_BibleBasicsSometimes it seems as though in our rush to advance our children’s learning we’ve lost sight of the simple things. We put aside the basics and move forward without periodically checking in to ensure our kids have a firm grasp on their foundation. Recently, the Lord has prompted our family to take a moment to review Bible basics with our kids. Key concepts we don’t want to take for granted are understood.

Setting logic and apologetics aside for a brief moment, we want to take this opportunity to review a few Biblical topics we might not have discussed in a while. We’ll brush up on these areas of focus and then resume our scheduled studies with better clarity.

What are Bible basics? When we think of Bible basics, a few things come to mind. Do our children remember the days of creation. From memory. How about the ten commandments? This is a great time to review the books of the Bible and have them memorized as well. We’ll review the “greatest” commandment; a few key passages in Psalms; The Great Commission; The Lord’s Prayer; John 3:16 and more!

This isn’t a step backward! It’s important our children understand that reviewing these basics is not a step backward. While they might think they “Know this stuff already!” these concepts are not just for children. Even we adults need to remind ourselves of these truths and ensure they are committed to memory. Then, we build upon the basics and dig deeper.

A firm foundation is key. Logic and apologetics are important. So are these basic foundational studies. All contribute to a strong Biblical foundation upon which our children’s lives should be established. From time to time it’s beneficial to take a look back, checking for areas which need a little strengthening. This ensures we’re moving forward in confidence and fully understanding what God is teaching.

Our kids aren’t as little as they used to be. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t periodically take a moment to check in with our not so little children and review these Bible basics. It’s good for them and us. Through prayer and fun family challenges, we’re brushing up and asking the Lord to grow us through these simple truths. We know God is going to do something wonderful!

“He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”
~ Luke 6:48

Your Turn!: How often do you review Bible basics with your kids?

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