All at the same time. And, yes, they’re all ours. With no sets of twins.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t figure this out when they were younger. I guess I was too busy in those early years to do the math. If I had, I think I might have panicked.
No, I take that back, I definitely would have panicked.
I’d heard quite a bit about how challenging teenagers could be.
In fact, I’d even been one myself. And I don’t think I would have much looked forward to having a handful of my own. Not five at one time.
But you want to know something? I LOVE having teens in our home. I never would have guessed it would be such a blessing to have them around (not always easy, but certainly a blessing).
So what would I say goes into preparing for some terrific teenage years?
5 Ways To Prepare for Some Terrific Teen Years:
Teach your children to enjoy serving others.
Don’t just teach them to serve – help them get to the place where they enjoy it. The more a young person is looking after the interests of others, the less room there is for self-focus and other potential pitfalls of those teen years.
Make sure you are respected.
Because you’re their parent and because God says to. While I’d never thump my kids with it, I’d gently – and firmly – remind them that I’m to be respected. Always. Not because I’m perfect, but because I’m the parent God gave them.
Communicate openly on just about everything.
While it might start out with talking about frogs and fears and hurt feelings, those discussions have grown over time into deep and pivotal conversations. Our long and loving talks have become invaluable as we’re working through the challenges of becoming an adult.
Lighten up on the rules and lay down strong principles.
Increasingly over the years, we lessened the “rules” and impressed upon our young people the principles behind what we believe in. We’ve pointed them to Scripture so that they could see – and believe – for themselves.
Pursue their hearts closely.
Even at a young age, seek to understand what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Yes, it can be quite time-consuming, but that big investment more than pays off when they’re growing through their teen years. Those close heart-ties can help carry you through the hard times.
So why not start preparing now? It’s not like children suddenly become teenagers – even though that’s how it can feel – and there’s so much a parent can do to pave the way to some wonderful teen years.
I know. Because I’m sure enjoying them.
A whole handful of them.
*So how are you preparing for the teens years? Your tips? Your concerns?
Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matt Jacobson and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. Lisa is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and her husband is the author of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt and Lisa are also the co-hosts of the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast where they talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture.