As your teen moves toward adulthood, it is important to begin treating them like adults. However, this does not mean avoiding discipline. Don’t miss this critical time in your child’s life to teach your teen spiritual concepts when disciplining for bad behavior. When your tween or teen chooses to do something he or she knows is wrong, teach lifestyle principles by guiding your tween or teen into the truth of the Word of God.
Let’s say your son or daughter has begun to hang out with kids that aren’t the best influence. One day, he or she is called into the principal’s office because that group of kids sprayed graffiti all over a wall in the back of the school. Your tween is suspended but says he had nothing to do with it. One Scripture you might use is 1 Corinthians 15:33 which says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” Using this tough situation, you might open a conversation about how simply being around someone who makes bad choices might sweep them up into a “guilty by association” situation—and that it might be wise to consider how much one would want to be linked with a person or group.
Or, perhaps you’ve caught your teen in a couple of white lies. You could open the Bible together and read Numbers 32:23: “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.” Help your tween or teen to understand that even when they get away with a fib, they aren’t lying to you or another person—they are lying to God who sees all things. And the second part of that verse comes with a warning: your sin will find you out! Why? Because God loves His children so much He will “bring to the light that which is in darkness” (Ephesians 5:11–14). He doesn’t want anyone to be tied up in sin and will allow for your teen to “get caught” so he can be freed of it.
Try to keep in mind that though it’s tricky to discipline teens, and the end goal is instruction toward maturity in Jesus—not punishment for the crime!
I know parenting tweens and teens can be frustrating at times. Please know I’m an email away. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Partnering with you,
p.s. If you haven’t checked it out already, this post goes with the original found in our Online Parenting Class! (click text to go to link)