How to talk to your teenager about dating

Be straightforward in your requests and sincerely grateful for her cooperation. If a comparison must be made, let it be in comparing your teen to his younger self and noting the growth, maturity, and progress he’s made. — they don’t need parents heaping their own worries on top of what’s already there. Your teen may tolerate positive comparisons to people he admires, but he hates to be compared negatively to anyone. This may seem counterintuitive, given how prone she is to argue sometimes, but your teenager hates strife. There is enough turmoil in the world — don’t add to it by being at odds with your spouse. And if your erstwhile dreams, ideals, and love for adventure have been snuffed out in the passing years, do your best to rekindle them — for your own sake as much as for his. The older she gets, the more important it is for her to take responsibility for making her own choices and decisions. Sometimes she may do things in a different way than you would do them, but in most cases, that is alright. When you try to control every detail of her life, it sends your teen the message that you think she’s either incompetent or untrustworthy.

They are watching you, examining you, constantly observing whether your talk matches your walk. Otherwise, you risk having your teen reject not only you, but everything you allegedly stand for.

Don’t be a hovering, helicopter parent who tries to dictate your teen’s every move.

(Of course, teens might say the same thing about living with a menopausal mother, but that’s another post for another day.) No parent is perfect. And it is sometimes necessary for us to make decisions that won’t necessarily be popular with our kids.

But if we can somehow manage to avoid the biggies — if we can refrain from doing these things our teens hate most — then our homes might be much happier, both during the teen years and beyond. Whether he acts like it or not, he is hungry for your affirmation and approval. But they’ll need to be addressed in a way that communicates your love for him and your confidence in his ability to do better. Sure, she still needs your counsel and correction from time to time, but it will fall on deaf ears if you deliver it in a spirit of anger or condescension. Do you use one voice for company and phone calls, but another for your family?

Whether consciously or not, your teen takes comfort in knowing that you care enough to keep tabs on him. If you want or need her to do something for you, please just come out and say so.

Don’t expect her to read your mind or try to guilt trip her into doing what you want. Pray for your teen, point him to the solid Rock, anchor him there when the storms roll in, and assure him the sun will soon come out again.

Let your home be a haven of rest, a peaceful oasis where your children can relax, recharge, and take refuge from worldly cares in full confidence of your commitment not only to them, but to one another, as well. Don’t get locked into doing things a certain way, just because that’s how you’ve always done them. Remember the verse about not being anxious for tomorrow, because each day has enough troubles of its own? Our kids face so many uncertainties during these years — Will I pass my test?

Be willing to think outside the box and weigh all the options, especially when making decisions that affect your teen.

When he pushes the limits, he’s just testing to make sure they’re still in place, the way you might push against the doors of your house each night to make sure they are properly latched.

You should expand his boundaries a bit as he grows, but you shouldn’t remove them altogether.

"Blaspheme to me like you blasphemed to the Nation of Islam! Larry's reply is to rattle off Republican names in President Trump's administration until he climaxes: "Donald Trump, Steven Bannon, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, Mitch Mc Connell" — and, for the kicker, he screams — "Rudy Giuliani!