Raising Teenagers & Young Adults

Posted by Debra Carmona on 21 March 2011 | Add a Comment

Parenting is not for Cowards.

Being a parent is the toughest job on earth. With six children each one is uniquely different from each other with their own special challenges at various stages of their life. Sometimes we feel so inept as parents and feel like quitting. I am afraid too many parents give up the fight too soon and give in to the child's pressures. It is easy to manage them when they are young if you start out with a discipline plan but as they reach the young adult years there are new challenges to face. I am certain that in their early formative years (between ages 1 and 5) we warded off many of those bigger challenges we might have had to deal with. The training must start early. If you don't begin a concentrated program with them until after age five it may already be too late to have any real success. With my children the most concentrated time of training took place between the ages of eighteen months and three years old which included discipline that was often administered daily as needed. Some were more testy than others but it was during those early years we taught them to respect authority, bend over and take their punishment without a fight, and that there would always be consequences for their actions.

In this video my husband shares some advice in dealing with Teenagers and Young Adults

 

How do You Keep Up With Children in these High Tech Times?

I am sorry that the above video did not offer you any solutions. It was meant to be humorous anyway. Just to be clear no, we do not put them in cages as would an animal nor electrocute them. Even though I have been a mother for 26 years, raised six children whom have grown to young adults I still do have not everything all figured out. Parenting is a constant learning process. It seems that every time I have conquered a problem going on with one of them there is a new situation or problem to deal with another of them. The older the kids get the tougher it seems to be a parent and still keep your sanity in tack. Some days I wish I could go back to when they were between the ages of seven through twelve when they were so much fun and much easier to manage. I have learned some things though which I will attempt to share here in hopes that it might be a benefit for you.

 

As children grow older they are constantly evolving towards their independance. It starts with dropping them off in the church nursery when they do not want to be parted from you. But then they make their first friend whom they want to spend more time with because that friend is more fun than Mom. Then school takes them away for several hours a day if you send them, (I chose to keep mine longer through homeschooling), But their independence takes a giant leap with a cell phone. I didn't like the idea of my children having their own cell phone so I never bought them for them. My children did not get cell phones until they could afford to buy them for themselves and pay for their own monthly plan.  It used to be you could ease drop on their phone calls when we used to have land line phones but now you don't know who they are talking to, nor when, and how long. One odd thing about children with cell phones is that when you call them they never seem to pick up but if you text them they will answer back most times. They say it is because in some places they do not have signal but as they move about they will get the text eventually. So, yes, parents you need to learn how to do texting. Now, if you can afford an additional monthly subscription you could always get GPS tracking so you know where they are at all times. Most cell phone today have GPS built into them. That will become more especially useful once they really become mobile with the drivers liscence, and an automobile which brings even more challenges for parents. If I had it do all over again I would not have ever put my children on our auto insurance policy. Each one of the boys have had an auto accident or fender bender which raised our rates more than once. They say hind sight is 20/20 well here is my hind sight a wise parent would not let them get a drivers liscence until they have a job and can buy their own auto insurance policy.

Cell Phone Craze

So, how can we keep in touch with them, and know what is going on in their lives? who their friends are? what is influencing them? They want their independance and we want peace of mind that they are not being led astray by wrong influences. Here is my advice. Get Internet savy. Get a Facebook account. Add them to your friend list and add their friends to your friend list. This is a great way to keep an eye on their conversations, friends, videos, photos they post, music they are exposed to. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. You can learn a lot about people by browsing through their photos. It is also a way to keep an eye on their attitude. That only works with some children usually the ones that are more open or foolish inmature ones with the bad habit of expressing it online not considering the consequences. Children are sometimes too open and speak their mind freely online which can stir up lots of trouble so they do need to be taught some online etiquette (A topic for a later post). DO NOT allow your children to get a MySpace Account. I repeat NO MYSPACE! Facebook is much more secure. Make sure you teach them about setting up their privacy settings so their account cannot be seen to the whole world just their friends. Many young people do not think twice about posting their phone numbers to the whole wide world (WWW). What is wrong with MySpace? You do not have to have a MySpace account to view postings that anyone posts. With MySpace you can see who their friends are, read all their posts, blogs, everything even without an account yourself. That is not true with Facebook if the privacy settings are set correctly.

Bunch O Laptops

Learn how to use Google Search. Google never forgets. It keeps a record of everything that is ever posted online. It can be your best friend in learning who that new girlfriend or boyfriend your child just brought home and you have no clue about them or their past. Everything they have ever posted online, if it be photos, videos, comments, blogs, or groups they have joined, it will come up in Google Search. It is sad but true that children are getting access to online activities at younger ages. I think that is a dangerous precident. I think it would be wise to keep children from Internet access before the age of 15 and even then their activity on it needs to be monitored. Again Google can be your best friend. If you set up a Google account it will keep track of every website, every video, every photo your computor has visited. This is a covert way for you to monitor your children's online activites without coming across as intrusive to your children. They won't know how you know what you know. They might even think you have super powers which could be to your benefit. Knowledge is power and as parents facing the tough challenges and tempatation we are up against we need all the help we can get.  Thanks Google. ~ Debra Carmona

 

The Toughest Part of Parenting

I've survived the so called "Terrible Twos" phase with great success, and the "Tumultuous Toddler" phase victoriously, and coasted through the school age with joy, even survived the "Teen" years without too much trouble, but the time when children are approaching adult years is the toughest part of all parenting phases, because that is when we need to let go which is so much easier said than done. As parent's we want to always be there for the children, help them weather the storms, give advice, warn them of pending dangers because of their bad choices. When things go wrong we want to fix it. We become like an over protective mother bear when they are wronged by someone outside the family such as a boy friend or girl friend.

James & Jeanette Couple
David & Rachel Couple

We make a huge mistake when we get involved with their relationships. Remember it is their relationship not yours so if you get invoved it will hurt your relationship with your own child. Our focus needs to be on guiding our children to make the right choices, or decisions but not to insert ourselves into their relationship. We need to learn to back off and let them handle matters. Give advice yes, but let them handle it. You have spent the better part of their lives teaching them about life, guiding them in making choices, doing right, being considerate of others, avoiding dangers, and how they will reap what they sow. So now it's time to trust that all the years of your input will result in them ultimately making the right choice on their own.  Try to avoid telling them what they should do but gently lead them in a discussion asking them a series of questions to help them see what the circumstances are and guide them into seeing what the best choice is. They will do much better in making the right choice if they feel that they have come to their own conclusions. That alone will build greater respect in their hearts towards you. If they make a mistake it will be their mistake and they will learn from it but meddling in their affairs will drive them further away from you. I know it is very difficult to stand by and watch them make a bad choice. You want to stop them, prevent further injury to their spirits and character but still we must resist our own intervention. Force always brings resistance. If you meddle in their personal affairs you will only reap their bitterness and resentment towards yourself. Step back and allow them room to make their own choice even if that means a bad choice. They will learn and grow from it. If they fall on their face they will not resent you for it if you've allowed them the space to make their own choice. They will not blame you. You will be there for them no matter what and they will love you and respect you for it.

Jacob & Mary Couple

You must also accept that there will come times when they are facing a tough issue and they will talk to others (friends, teachers, other adults) about it before you ever hear of it. This is their attempt in handling a matter on their own. Be thankful that they are seeking advice to guide them. The Bible says, that when two or three witnesses are consulted a thing is established. Have confidence in your own training by stepping back and just watch them work out their own problems. The more you force your way with them the further you will push them away from you. They have been preparing for separating from you all their lives now let them prove themselves. Just LET GO, we will retain their hearts in the process.    ~ Debra Carmona

My Son and I
My son Joe and I

The Pains of Parenthood

With six children there never seems to be a shortage of trouble or potential disaster looming just around the corner. As soon as one situation is resolved with one of the children, a new situation arises with another. It certainly does keep life interesting and constantly changing which keeps me on my toes. Just think of all the wonderful experiences I get to face and learn to deal with. I could write a book. Sometimes I think things are just falling apart and the end result is going to be devastating for them but when I look back over all the resolved seemingly impossible situations at the time and see how beautifully they have been settled to everyone's satisfaction, I say to myself, "All the stress, toil, and tears was worth it because everyone invoved got the victory in the end."

 

Parenting is the toughest job on earth. Cowards need not apply.

The most difficult part of being a parent is watching your child make a big mistake with their choices in life. We try in vain it seems to guide them, counsel them why their choice is not wise and offer them a better solution but they stubbornly continue in their direction in spite of all our helpful advise. It is also heartbreaking when you see them stray away from those things that you thought you had taught them better. They will ultimately make their own choices and shall reap the consequences of those choices and we feel helpless as parents as we watch them stumble and fail as they learn the lessons the hard way. I cannot tell you how many times I thought all was lost and I felt like I had failed as a parent but then GOD stepped in and worked in their hearts to change them. Somtimes he brought troubles or setbacks, roadblocks to prevent them from continuing in the direction they were going or even another person into their live's to give further life lessons. Those mentors are angels to me who have stepped in as God's messengers to pick up where we left off to carry on God's program in the hearts of my children. God bless them.

 

Stubborness runs in our family boodline which can be a good thing when based on good and right principles but such a bother when one is set to defy the natural laws God has established. I have had moments when I thought I had lost the very heart of my child forever. They were bitter or angry with me or my husband because we refused to see things their way. But then GOD sent His angels to further guide and teach to bring around a total transformation in the attitude of my child who learned to appreciate his parents once again with the proper respect and honor. He learned his place in the home realising where he was not allowed to overstep his dominance in our home and so his final years at home were of peace instead of war.

 

It is difficult to be the opposing force against the ideas and plans of our children but oh so necessary when you know that their choices will bring them even greater troubles, heartaches and setbacks. We try to protect them as much as we can, to shield them from the worst of troubles but the rebellious nature sometimes cannot accept the wisdom of our counsel so they continue headlong into trouble to gain the lessons the hard way. We should never give up, do not throw in the towel but stick to what we believe is true, right and good always. Our consistent constant stance will ever be there as their guide even if they stray from the path of righteousness. The school of hard knocks will teach them and eventually they will come around to see things as we tried to tell them how it would be. When they do come back to the truth we will be where we have always been standing strong as a monument to them. Yes, it is a painful stance to take that will bring feelings of rejection from one's own child, feelings of betrayal and abandonment for one's we have sacrificed so much and invested so much of our energy. We will suffer loss and heartache but nevertheless we must persevere because right is always right.

 

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

 

They will learn from their mistakes and will see that you were right all along. They will discover in hindsight what they refused to accept from your training. And in the end you will be seen in their eyes as a constant source of wisdom, and an unchanging testimony that will be enduring. Over time as they age they will appreciate you more than they did at the first. So, hang in there parents, all is not lost yet. Be patient and allow God to work in their hearts and minds to bring about His plans for them.

 

I do not know how parents in this modern world can honestly cope with parenting without the help of almighty God. It is comforting to know that God is always on my side and I have seen proof of that time after time as He worked with me to guide my dear children and keep them on the right path. Without God's help I think I would go insane. That is why we need to be constantly in prayer for their very needs. God is our greatest advocate and He IS on our side. The pains of parenthood are barable because He helps bear those burdens with us.    ~ Debra Carmona 3/21/2012

 

 



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