But Mom, everyone else gets to watch that movie.
But Dad, everyone else gets to stay out until midnight…why can’t I?
And, why do I have to study Math?
Ever heard that in your house of teens?
I remember those days. Our kids questioned our decisions and pushed the envelope many times. If you have teens in your home, you know what I mean. How do you deal with your teens, in the midst of hormones and homeschooling?
How to Help Your Teens Make Wise Decisions
Your kids, like ours, may wonder why we have certain rules in our home. We continually try to teach our children that rules and standards are a good thing. Without standards, we are left unprotected. But as a teenager, that may not mean much to them. All they can see is what they can’t do and they question everything. All I wanted was to be a drama-free mom.
We used this season of questioning as a learning experience, a time for our teens to make wise decisions while they were still under our roof.
Help Your Teens Make Wise Decisions in Homeschooling
Do you let your teens make decisions about their homeschooling? Or, do you have all four years planned for them? The way you answer those questions determines if your teen will be prepared for real-life after high school.
As our kids began high school, we believed it was important they took ownership of their studies. At the beginning of each year, we discussed their goals and how their studies might look. From there, I showed each child how to plan their week.
During their first semester of high school, we met every Monday to plan together. We used a plain lesson plan, a simple spreadsheet. By January, they could plan on their own. I still reviewed their weekly plan, but they took ownership; they made decisions about their studies.
Why let your teens plan their homeschool studies?
One of our homeschool goals is our kids to be leaders when they grow up. If I am always telling them what to study and when to write a paper, they continue to follow. When they plan their homeschool and make decisions about their studies, they learn to lead. It’s an easy, yet significant step that parents can use on how to raise a leader, not a follower.
Help Your Teens Make Wise Decisions in Life
Like us, you want your kids to grow up to make wise decisions in life. For this reason, we discussed the difference between God’s Rules and our House Rules. Although you may start with younger kids, it’s important that teens definitely know the difference. When they learn the difference, they can apply the Bible to their own life. Let me share how we did this.
God’s Rules are standards specifically stated in His Word. “Do not lie. Do not cheat. Do not commit adultery.” By the time our kids are teens they should know God’s Word and His standards like the back of their hand.
House Rules are standards that our family follows. Our House Rules are based on God’s Word, His standard.
For instance, the movies our kids were allowed to watch differed from other families. We were very particular about what they watched as they grow up. Where we drew the line was simply a House Rule, not God’s Rule.
Your House Rules will look different than other families’ House Rules. House Rules cover a large variety of topics, including movies, TV, books, clothing, curfew, friends, sleep-overs, snacks, courtship, and so on. You get the idea, I’m sure.
Why do teenagers have difficulty making good decisions?
Many Christian teens don’t know the difference between God’s Rules and the House Rules in their own family. When parents don’t teach the difference, teens think all rules are the same. This leads to legalism and often, to rebellion.
One way to avoid legalism & rebellion is talking to your kids about standards, regularly. These discussions should be around the dinner table, in the car, on a walk. Casual talks are the best time to discuss House Rules and God’s Rules because your kids are more likely to listen and interact about these ideas.
Especially when you have teenagers, it’s imperative to have these casual discussions all the time, as part of your natural family conversation.
- Standards are great when your teens understand them.
- Standards protect your teens.
- Standards produce future leaders when properly understood.
- Standards should be explained in light of God’s Word.
God’s Word is the final word on our decisions and behavior.
As your teens understand standards, it’s time to give them freedom in decision making. It’s a chance to keep their eyes on Jesus as they make decisions.
How can I help my child make better decisions?
I remember our girls wanting to watch a movie that I wasn’t sure about. I asked them to read the Plugged In Reviews and then we could discuss it. After reading the review, we discussed if this is a movie they should see. They decided not to go with their friends to the movie. That’s a hard decision as a teen, but one I was proud to see them make.
Teens need the opportunity to apply God’s Rules while they are at home with your guidance. As they make right decisions, reinforce how they are following God’s rule in that decision. As they make wrong decisions, gently teach them what God would want in that situation.
It’s better for them to fall a few times at home with your direction, rather than later, out of the house. Teens with opportunities to make their own decisions (with guidance, support, and encouragement from their parents) grow up to follow God, becoming wise leaders of tomorrow.
How Will You Help Your Teens Make Wise Decisions Starting Today?
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Kerry Beck helps you get past the perfect Instagram image & move on to real life ways to inspire your kids to love learning, think critically & grow up to influence others. Kerry teaches free classes each month and has a free how to homeschool ebook for you at HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com.
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30 DAYS OF THE BEST ENCOURAGEMENT FOR HOMESCHOOLING MOMS SERIES CONTRIBUTOR:
Kerry Beck helps you get past the perfect Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook image and get on to real life…real life ways to inspire your kids to grow in Christ and love learning. Her passion is helping moms to love learning, while giving their kids a superb, Christian education . . . where they think critically & Biblically.