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The Bible is replete with tales of parental authority. And through the Ten Commandments, Christians are taught from an early age to honor thy father and thy mother, but the day will come when the tables turn. Keep in mind, parenting is a two-way street.
Learning from Our Teens
Publication Date:
11/18/2009
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Parenting Study
Product Number:
TC8032

There's a famous quote, often attributed to Mark Twain, that accurately reflects the parent-child relationship: "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Perhaps the reverse also holds true when we consider our children. We protect them as helpless infants, teach them to walk, talk, read, and so forth . . . until one day we realize that, yet again, they are looking over our shoulder patiently helping us navigate the Web, guiding us through the process of downloading music to our new MP3 player, giving us up-to-date style tips for a mid-life job interview, or broadening our world view by allowing us a glimpse into theirs!

Okay, it can be a bit jarring at first, but it can also be a signal that we've reached a point in our relationship with our kids where the old paradigm of "father/mother knows best" can be replaced with the idea that parents and teens--together--can figure things out as a team. And rather than viewing this as a threat to our parental authority, we should embrace it as confirmation that we've done our job as parents well.

Faye Burdick is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a retired editor. She edited The Roots of Youth Ministry series and God's Plan for Growing Up resources.


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