How to Change Your Parenting in the Teen Years

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A homeschool mom wrote to ask me if it's true that you shouldn't expect the same kind of obedience from your teens that you do from younger kids. This is The Homeschool Sanity Show, the episode where I address how to change our parenting in the teen years.


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How to Change Your Parenting in the Teen Years

Conflicting advice around parenting is so confusing, isn't it? If you have teens and wonder how to parent them, my first encouragement is to trust your judgment.

Our parenting shoudn't change around disrespect. This is a soap box I climb onto all the time and with good reason.

Use a coaching approach. My next response to this question comes from a video series by Reb Bradley (See Parenting Teens with the Wisdom of Solomon). He was on this podcast in the first year talking about requiring first-time obedience. I have a different approach to first-time obedience, but I agree with Reb that parenting teens becomes more about coaching than dictating.

While we want to have a coaching approach, this doesn't mean that we abdicate our authority when it comes to dangerous or immoral behavior. I wouldn't allow my kids to drive when they're under the influence or let their girlfriend sleep over because that's the choice they've made after coaching.

Coaching also takes your child's personality and circumstances into account.

Coaching is a response to your child, not a set program. If something isn't working, try a new approach in a collegial, experimental atmosphere.

When I had six young children, strangers warned me of the nightmare of teen years that lay ahead of me. I did have some challenges with a strong-willed child that I've talked about before, but all in all, these years have been a joy. The young adult years have been a joy, too.


One final encouragement I want to give you is to surrender these children to the Lord. They are His. Believe that He wants the best for them even more than you do and you will have peace. Your teens will sense this and will respond accordingly.

Have a happy homeschool week!

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Author: Dr. Mel

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