This is to say always be nearby, ready at hand, visible and available. Teenagers can be very busy people, going from one activity to another, talking on the phone with friends, doing schoolwork, or just isolating themselves from the family they live with; as a result of this, you have to find ways of being near them. One of the things we did to stay near our kids was, having dinner together. I (WE) tried to have dinner together most evenings because I (WE) found that my children were most talkative during this time, and were willing to share information about their lives. During dinner time I (WE) found they asked questions more and answered them too. Dinner together brings you closer even when you do not realize it.
In addition to this, I (WE) engaged and supported our children in their interests. Whatever the current hobby was we involved ourselves in their interest wholeheartedly, this, however, can be tiring, costly, and time-consuming for you, especially if your teenager is anything like mine (OURS), who move from one interest to another in what seemed like months – you get tired. My (OUR) second son in his teenage years, did skateboarding, BMX bike riding, and also ruby (he does not follow any of those interest today), involving ourselves and engaging in his world gave us insight into his life.
Going to family functions, outings, events, and church services together were also pivotal to the upbringing of my children. One important aspect I (WE) believe really helped us through their teenage years was our values, please do not underestimate how important this is to your family. I believe your teenagers (when they have an understanding of their family core values) no matter what they go through they will always have that (their values) to stand on. For example; my (OUR) core values are based on our Christian faith, as we are followers of Jesus Christ. This meant when it was time to go to church and other events, be it social or otherwise, they understood it was essential to ‘love thy neighbour’ just as Jesus taught; even if they did not want to go, at the time. I (WE) also placed immense value on spending time with our extended family, this helped me (us) to see and understand my (OUR) teenagers from a different perspective, as often times they would say things and express their thoughts on varying matters, this helped to reveal a little more of their personality. Always remember your teenager needs you, they may act like they do not, but they do. We as parents need to stay close without been overbearing in the lives of our teenagers so that when they need us, we are available. Which is the second tip I will be covering in my next blog post: BE AVAILABLE.
I end with a prayer; LORD give me the strength I need to always be present in the lives of my children. Help me LORD not to be overwhelmed with other issues of life, help me to always remember that my children are a blessing from You, In Jesus Name. Amen.