Parenting Teens requires tons of tongue-biting!
God’s Truth: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26
When your kids are little, you can probably get away with saying some stupid things to them because they tend to be more forgiving. Quite honestly, it’s easier to win arguments with them because they can’t outsmart you yet.
But when your kids reach adolescence, your communication becomes a very tricky verbal dance.
- Arguments are harder to win, because they know how to argue back now and sometimes they are even right!
- They will remind you of things you said, and take you to task if you reverse it.
- They no longer listen just because you are Mom or Dad; they have formed their own ideas about things.
- Sometimes they simply just don’t want to talk and let you into their life. It’s like pulling teeth to get a decent conversation out of them.
One of the hardest skills for a parent to learn is Biting Your Tongue. Scripture says to control your tongue and that means filtering what you say, when you say it, and why you say it. And very often, that simply means you must refrain from saying what you really think or feel at the very second you want to blurt it out.
It doesn’t mean you should never express your thoughts or feelings; it merely means you must think about your words and how they will be received. And it may mean waiting for a time when your teen is more receptive.
Biting Your Tongue is not a science. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula; it’s an art that must be adapted to each family, each teen. You usually know when you should have kept your mouth shut, don’t you? The trick is to remember that so next time, you will Bite Your Tongue before you once again say something you regret.
Practice Biting Your Tongue when you talk with your teen and I believe the restraint will actually open up communication doors if you are patient.
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