Happy April 1st!!
Do y’all participate in April Fools’ Day? I’m not a fan of practical jokes, so I pretty much ignore it 🙂 I’m also terrible at trying to convince someone of something that’s not actually true, so there’s no need for me to even try. In the past, I’ve seen people share cute ideas for making April Fools’ Day a fun day for their kids. If that’s you, I hope you enjoy the day!
As our daughters get older, I’m learning that there are parts of being a mom that stay the same no matter their age. For example, any time your child is hurting, you hurt with and for them. Whether it’s a relationship issue, a major disappointment, academic struggles, or loneliness, we want to help them in any way we can.
But it’s not like those childhood years when you could soothe most of what ailed them with a hug and a double scoop ice cream cone. Not only are the issues bigger, but our teens are away from us a lot more, involved in school and work, and maybe even off to college.
So what can we do when that teenager we love is going through a hard time? Here are seven ideas.
1. Pray for her.
It sounds so simple, but it’s the single most effective thing we can do. Pray for her spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Ask God to open her heart and mind so she’ll allow Him to show her what she needs to do.
Sometimes I’ve needed to put Romans 8:26 into practice. I ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me because in certain situations, I don’t even know exactly how I should pray. But God knows my heart and understands all that’s going on.
2. Ask God for wisdom.
God has the wisdom we need and will freely give it. [James 1:5] Often we’re presented with a parenting situation we haven’t had to deal with before. We need wisdom to know how we should respond. We need guidance to know what to say to our child and what advice to give if she’s willing to accept it.
3. Keep a proper perspective.
As the parent, you’ve lived long enough to know that most difficult situations are temporary. And from our vantage point, we can look back and see how God has taken hard times in our own lives and used them for our good.
So don’t lose hope. Encourage yourself and your teenager that this will likely pass before long.
4. Remember that God is especially near to them when they’re hurting.
This verse came to mind.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” ~Psalm 34:18-19
God is close to those who have a broken heart, to those who are hurting. We may not be able to be there in person to offer our teens comfort, but God is always close by.
5. Trust God to use this trial in their lives for their long-term good.
At this point, we control very little in our children’s lives. But God sees the whole picture. He will use this hard time to grow and mature them if they will let Him.
And if, like me, you’re tempted to worry and fret over how things will work out, refer to Philippians 4:8. Take it to God in prayer and ask Him to give you His peace.
6. Listen more than you talk.
Your teen may not want to talk about her struggle. But if she does open up, listen. Don’t interrupt her or jump in with advice. Be grateful that she’s willing to share her heart with you.
7. Remind her that you love her.
Can anyone ever hear that too much? And don’t just tell her, but show her. Write her a note, bring her a favorite treat, give her a gift card to a favorite store, or, if she’s away from home, send her a small gift that lets her know you’re thinking about her.
This is advice I need myself quite often, especially the parts about asking God for wisdom and trusting Him to use our daughters’ struggles to make them better. How thankful we can be for a God who loves us moms and our teens so much!!
- 5 Helpful Steps to Parenting Your Teenager Well
- 4 Bible Verses to Hold on to as We Parent Teenagers
- 17 Things I Want My 17-Year-Old Daughter to Know