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All of what I wrote in “Elementary Years” still holds true during the teen years, but as parents we will need to step back more often and let our kids make more decisions…even if we know they aren’t the best and let THEM feel the full weight of those choices. And better to start this in the little things rather than the bigger ones.
As our teens approach adulthood, it’s crucial that they OWN so much more of their life and decisions than they ever have. It’s truly a dance and it requires more from us than we have ever had to give. (Read more on teens here and here.) It’s also important that we continually reassure them of our love and respect for them and and who they are. To tell them every time they have made a good decision, even small ones. We are giving them wings when we acknowledge their healthy individuality and growing independence from us. And all along the way PRAY FOR WISDOM (James 1:5-7) and pray for your teen. The work that needs to be done in the deepest places of their hearts can only be done by the Holy Spirit.
If you would like more information and specifics on Peacemaking, here are some great resources.
Young Peacemaker– This book set includes a manual for parents(or teachers) and books with illustrations for kids that can be copied. If your family really wants to do more in depth study on peacemaking with good examples to learn from, this is your tool.
War of Words by Paul David Tripp- This book shows the importance of how we use our words, especially within the family setting. Fair warning: this book is very convicting.
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp- An excellent book on the teen years.