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As diligent parents we want to lead our teenagers in developing good character traits as they continue to develop into adulthood. But discipline can lead to confrontation which may make for less discipline and more confrontation when emotions are running high. It’s a difficult problem for parents. Utilizing resources such as family audiobooks can take the confrontation out of the equation while still helping teens to see the need for good character building.
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3 Ideas for Non-confrontational Character Training
There are times when no matter what tone of voice you use or even what you are asking of your teen that the response is less than ideal. Emotional responses can range from anger to confusion and self-doubt to frustration. They simply have an overload of emotions during this phase of life and need to develop self-control to their emotional response to any given situation.
These emotional responses can lead to conflict between parent and child.
Often however, allowing them to see these type of situations from an outsiders perspective gives them insight on their own attitudes.
▬ Visual Scriptural Reminders
Recently, I was blessed to spend about 24 hours in the home of complete strangers. They were so gracious to provide a resting place for me when my van broke down in a small town while I was traveling. I reached out to the local congregation in that town to ask for prayers and this family graciously invited me to stay with them until I could continue on my journey.
I say this to tell you that I was struck by how many scripture visuals this sweet mama had decorated her home with. She had painted bits of wood and hand written scripture on the wood and placed those decoratively about her home. Or, she had printed and framed lovely scripture printables hanging in unexpected places such as beside the bathroom mirror, or on a bed stand next to a bed. They literally filled her home.
I asked her about this and she said that the passage from Deuteronomy 6:9 really spoke to her heart about “writing them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” So she made the decision that she would write such passages upon the doorposts, walls, and surfaces of her home and so both nest her home and train up her children in the word by the visuals they see on a daily basis.
I thought… what a fantastic idea!
▬ Set Good Examples and Engage Teens in Positive Ways
When I first became a mom some dear women offered a parent training class at our church. In that course they taught the principle of Ages in Stages. For each age of a child’s life they go through stages. They taught that as parents we must learn to adapt with the child to teach and train for the stage they are in. Don’t get ahead of them by setting expectations they aren’t ready for while at the same time don’t hold them back and treat them like a baby when they are clearly ready for more. Rather, train them using the ages in stages philosophy.
The teen stage is no exception. During this stage, especially the early teen years, they are learning to find themselves. A teen may feel unsure of who they are. They may feel overwhelmed by life. Or, they may struggle with self-doubt.
Thus, when you offer parenting advice they may feel as if you are attacking WHO they are instead of training a specific behavior. This is where we must use caution so as to “not provoke your children to wrath,” Ephesians 6:4.
Seek to engage your teen in positive ways. When you witness them using good character, commend them for their good works. Schedule time to do something fun, just the two of you.
Model the behaviors you want them to exhibit without a word of correction when those behaviors aren’t being displayed.
That being said, their will be times when you will need to direct properly. Don’t disciple them in front of their friends or others because your goal isn’t to embarrass but rather to teach. Having a private conversation about a behavior will go a long way in helping them to feel secure in the training rather than embarrassed by the correction if it’s in a public setting.
▬ Use Character Training Stories to Guide Character Principles
Let’s face it, sometimes parents are not the best teacher when it comes to teaching character training during the teen years. Those foundations should have been laid in the earlier years by parents. But, during the teen years, often, teens don’t necessarily want to admit that a parent may know best. That’s when it’s good to utilize outside influences.
One of the ways that you can do that is through family audiobooks which utilize storytelling as a way to show perspective. When a teen hears the reactions of others through a dramatic story they can begin to reflect upon their own thoughts and reactions in similar situations as those being portrayed in the story. It can help them to see an outside perspective of themselves without any pressure from mom and dad.
That’s exactly what Focus on the Family’s newest Adventures in Odyssey #63, Up in the Air, does. Through storytelling they’ve set the scene on several adventures that portrays the variety of emotional responses often seen in young teens.
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With the cold weather coming, now is the best time to kick the bacteria to the curb. Take some time to really dig in and clean as you prepare to nest your home for winter and start with some healthy cleaning using natural products. Pull out the microfiber cloths and give your home a good cleaning before the winter time frost and coughs set in.
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We all know that winter months lead to long days cooped up in the house. It also seems that winter is the time that colds, flu, and other respiratory infections can begin to trouble the family. But you can get ahead of the yucks by doing a bit of autumn cleaning.
Take a few minutes to inform yourself of the six common childhood illnesses that occur in the winter time. Once you do, you’ll be ready to do a bit of freshening up around the house.
▬ Winter’s Most Dreaded: Identify and Avoid these Six Common Childhood Illnesses by Sarah Lenhardt, MD
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