How Parents Can Bring Out the Best in Their Teenagers

In my last post, How Teenagers Bring Out the Worst in Their Parents, I talked abut the very difficult job of raising teenagers, and how it can effect parents.

In this post, let’s talk about how parents can bring out the best in their teens. It starts when you’re aware of your own issues of control, self-esteem, memory loss, fears, and aspirations. (Check out the previous post for more on this.)

Once you have addressed those things in yourself, there are some things you can do to bring out the best in those opinionated, strong-willed, hormonally challenged aliens we refer to as teenagers:

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Selective Memory in Marriage

Wife: “Don’t forget we’re going to my parents this weekend to help them with that project.”
Husband: “What project?”
Wife: “Remember, they’re redoing their living room, and we have to help them move all the furniture and repaint.”
Husband: “You didn’t tell me we were doing that this weekend!”
Wife: “Yes I did. I told you Wednesday, when we were coming home from church.”
Husband: “I didn’t think you were talking about this weekend!”
Wife: “I swear you have a selective memory. You only remember what you want to remember!”

Sound familiar? The particulars of the conversation may be different, but most of us have experienced similar conversations.

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Glory Days

Glory days are defined as “times in the past that are regarded as being better than the present.”

Glory days can be that winning pass of the high school championship, that time we were big on campus and had the hot date, or that carefree summer we spent at the beach with friends. Whatever they may be, we all have glory days in the past that seem better than the present.

As a married couple, you have glory days. Maybe it was when you were dating and everything was fresh and new. Maybe it was the excitement of your wedding day. Maybe it was the early days of marriage when hope and passion were always high.

But what if those glory days now seem like a distant memory? What if those glory days have been replaced with marital conflict, parenting demands, financial pressure, and work stress. What if the days of passion have changed from “I can’t beat them off with a stick” to “I want to beat them up with a stick?”

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Bull Riding and Marriage

I often tell people that marriage can be like a bull ride. Here’s what I mean by that…

In the beginning, when the bull rider gets on the bull, they look good, feel confident, and are surrounded by a lot of supporters. Those supporters speak words of encouragement, slap them on the back, and tell them, “You can do this!”

All this is like a bride and groom on their wedding day.

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Funny How Things Can Take You Back

It’s funny how things can take you back. It could be a song, or a smell. It could be a phrase, or a scene from a movie. Whatever it is, you know it when it happens, because you’re suddenly transported back to a better time (hopefully.)

Have you ever come across something that took you back to an earlier time in your marriage? Maybe it was a time where you were younger, more carefree, more energetic, or more idealistic. It happened to me early one morning as I was leaving for work.

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Good Funeral Stories

Depositphotos_1761627_xsNext time you attend a funeral, listen to the conversations about the deceased.  I’m not talking about the carefully crafted, flowery words of the eulogy.  I’m talking about the side conversations in the hall ways and outside the building.  These are the conversations that reveal who the person was and the impact they had on others.

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