I have written out these qualities to specifically benefit parents of teenagers, but I believe these qualities will be a value, no matter the age of your child.
My goal is this: I want to parent my children the way God has parented me.
1) Cultivate a thick skin~ Teens’ moods change quickly and as they are learning how to manage the hormones raging through their bodies and trying to develop some independence, they can often say something hurtful or unkind. The job of the parent is not to act like an adolescent. J This can be challenging when words are flung through the air like jabs. Practice not responding to everything your teen says to you. Try not to let their words stick!
2) Keep a soft heart~ Seek to understand your teen; keep your heart tender to them. Give any offense or hurt over to the Lord, so your heart doesn’t get hardened to your teen.
3) Trust the Lord~ The Lord is more involved in the life of your teen than you are. When you feel out of control, trust Him to take control. Release your teen into His perfect hands.
4) Connect with your teen ~ Desire to know your teen. Spend time doing things they love to do. Invest in them, without sharing your opinions; advice; thoughts. Be intentional.
5) See the future~ Do not get stuck in the present conditions or circumstances you see in your teen. Ask the Lord for a vision for their future and speak that out over them as you pray for them. Call in their destiny.
6) Spend more time listening to them~ Be a student of your teen. Listen without responding (unless asked). Keep your mouth shut. J
7) Laugh within your family~ Teenage-hood can be a challenge but when there is an opportunity, laugh with your teens. It may be revisiting something silly that happened on a family vacation or an event, movie, memory that will trigger laughter. Even in the hardest places, laughter is good medicine.
8) Stand firm on what you believe; stick with consequences; be consistent~ Consistency is the key. If your teen is challenging you on curfew, etc, do not give in because you are weary or frustrated or that you may think if you give in on this issue, that will bring you closer to your teen. Stay firm (not mean, but firm) on those values that are non-negotiables in your family.
To sum it all down into one sentence: Don’t act on your feelings, act on what you know is right.
My loves in life: Spending time in the prayer room; reading & teaching God's Word; my husband; my kids; my little loves; biking & running; being with family & friends