I get it. As the mom of two teenagers, I know that most teens aren’t sitting around waiting for their mom or dad to drop nuggets of wisdom on them. If yours are, more power to you! But that wouldn’t describe mine.
However, life gives us many opportunities to dole out little bits of advice to our kids. It could be when a teachable situation presents itself in their own life or when they talk to you about choices a friend is making.
For optimum benefit, I wouldn’t suggest sitting down and working through this list all at once! But maybe take one or two of these truths and gently work them into your conversation over time – in the car, over pizza, or during a late-night talking session.
1. Be teachable.
“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” ~Verse 1
In a healthy relationship, parents really do want the best for their children. Often their instruction and correction come from a place of wanting their teen to avoid some of the mistakes they made. Teenagers can tend to think they know it all, but hopefully, we can help them see the value in listening to our guidance.
I thank God for other caring adults, like teachers, coaches, and youth leaders, that He’s placed in our daughters’ lives. Our teens can thrive when they’re willing to accept insights from others. If they fail to listen to people who love them, they could have a rough road ahead.
2. Think before you speak.
“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” ~Verse 3
This is old but valuable advice. Wouldn’t we all be better off if we followed it? How many problems could we avoid if we’d either think before we speak or just keep quiet? The answer for me is a whole bunch!
Don’t say everything that pops into your mind. Controlling your tongue will keep you out of many difficult situations as you progress in life.
3. Work hard at whatever you do.
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” ~Verse 4
Whether it’s in the classroom, on the field, or in the band room, do your best and commit to the process. Habitual laziness will get you nothing and nowhere in life.
4. A little humility on your part will resolve almost any conflict.
“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well-advised is wisdom.” ~Verse 10
You don’t have to win every argument or prove your point all the time. Be willing to humble yourself and work with others to find solutions to problems.
5. Avoid all get-rich-quick schemes.
“Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.” ~Verse 11
You know how the saying goes…If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Earn money the old fashioned way – with hard work – and you’re a lot more likely to hang on to it.
6. Don’t let disappointments defeat you.
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” ~Verse 12
Disappointments are a part of life. We all face them, and future success is built on how we deal with them. Hopefully, we as parents have helped our children learn how to handle their disappointments. There’s nothing wrong with mourning a loss, but don’t stay there for too long. Pick yourself up and move on.
Robert Kiyosaki says, “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.“
7. Live your life according to the principles in God’s Word.
“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” ~Verse 13
How wonderful it would be if you developed the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer as a teenager. God blesses us when we know and obey what His Word tells us to do.
Disregarding God’s commands will only bring harm to our teenagers, whether immediately in or in their future. May we as parents set a good example for them by recognizing its authority in our own lives.
8. In every stage of life, find good friends.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” ~Verse 20
We can all be easily influenced by our friends. One of my prayers for our girls is that they would have discernment in their relationships, whether it be with other girls or with guys. Our teenagers don’t have the life experience they might need to see through to a person’s character.
Yet good friends can be such a gift! We can encourage each other when we’re down, celebrate each other’s successes, and just make the journey through life so much more fulfilling.
As with most things I write about helping teenagers, I find that all of these are areas I can improve in as an “older” adult as well!
Check out my digital printable How to Pray the Bible for Yourself and Your Family.