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Helping Your Teen Spread Their Wings

You might know this as much as anyone if you're a parent, but being a teenager is hard. You struggle to realize what is right from wrong in the pursuit of natural rebellion; you trust your instincts which can be off, your body changes, your life goes in crazy directions, and it can be hard to hold on. Being a teenager is a bit of a wild ride - you'll know that, you were one at some point! Your teen is on the verge of being an adult, and that can be a scary time! It means they aren't or soon won't be kids anymore. That can be troubling not just for them, but for you.

Your little ones will grow up, they will spread their wings and want freedom. That's just a part of life - your kids won't stay knee-high forever. If you're still blessed with little ones, enjoy that and don't take any day for granted. The day might come when they get bigger, taller and want to spend a little less time cooped up in the house with family; this isn't a slight on you - it is just one of those things that God intended as a part of life. 

Instead of standing in their way (which can happen sometimes), you should take an interest in helping your teen find themselves and help them spread their wings.  Find out what they are interested in and see if you can help them achieve it to ensure they get adulthood off to a great start. For a teen interested in faith and the community, teen mission trips could be a great idea, and some take place within the country, but also worldwide. These trips are a great way to ensure a teen picks up some great life skills while staying humble and it might be something that sets them up for life.

What about education? Taking a keen interest in education is something that every teen should do - be it homeschooling or through high-school and college. These are the times when a teen really does find out who they are, develops interests and maybe sets out on a career path. Any guidance you can give at this point is great, but you must remember to let your teen find out what they like by standing on their own two feet. They must be free in life to make their own decisions - even if they might be the wrong ones! You must give advice and guidance, but taking an active role in dictating your teens future might lead them to unhappiness. This is all about spreading their wings and finding freedom, not doing the things you want them to do!

Every child grows up into an adult, whether we like it or not - but we as parents must be there to offer a guiding hand and advice whenever it is needed, and to watch on high. Instead of a light that leads the way, we need to become more of a guardian angel and allow our kids to make their own choices in life.


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