5 Tips for talking with your teen
One of the highlights of my work week is the drive-time with my 12 year-old daughter, a 7th grader at BCS. I am continually blessed and blown-away by the depth of our talks. Yesterday, on the ride home, with the Dave Matthews Band playing softly in the background, we talked about the supremacy of Christ and how understanding that particular principle leads to understanding the key ideas of stewardship and worship. Now, before you think we always talk about things like this (we don't), or that I drilled on her on this and carried the conversation myself (I didn't), here's how it came about...
Anna just started iGeneration, which is focused on helping students develop a Biblical framework of the supremacy of Christ and examines how that framework plays out in daily life. Part of her homework this week is to memorize a section of Colossians 1 (verses 16-19...something like that). She said it was a really long verse, and I confessed that I am somewhat responsible for that because I have been part of the iGen planning team. When I taught the Relationships class in the high school, I started the course with an in-depth look at that section of Colossians. Frankly, I think ANY topic has to start with that section of Colossians. I pulled out my iPhone, pulled up the ESV Bible app, and had her read it to me. I then had her go to Romans 11:36...then Psalm 24:1...then John 1:3. If you read those verses, you'll see a clear trend emerge: This is all about God, from Him, through Him, and to Him. From this we get the foundations of our place in God's story (Him = Big, Us = Small), stewardship, and worship. It was so neat to see how she was reading these verses and putting the pieces together as we drove along.
I am very fortunate that Anna will talk with me like this. I don't know how long it will last, nor am I particularly skeptical that it's just a passing fad. Time will tell, but for now, I'm thrilled that we can talk about a very wide range of topics. This week, we've touched on (in no particular order) the aforementioned supremacy of Christ, why radio station's pick their morning DJs, the three steps to dressing like you know what you're doing (make sure the top and bottom halves are connected, match your shoes to the formal/casual tone of your clothes, and accessorize carefully, particularly with socks), why sex is good, what unsafe sex is, the difference between a virus and bacteria, what an STD is, why marriage is intended to protect from various bacterial issues, and her feelings regarding her siblings possibly joining her in the BCS family next year. Several of these talks came out content from the podcast we were listening to from a pastor in the Dallas-area named Matt Chandler. His podcasts are often great launching pads for deeper discussion. He's worth checking out.
It's been a great week, and I am so thankful that we've had the chance to connect.
Now, I have a kid who will talk to me. Maybe you don't. How then can you engage them in ways that will hopefully prove helpful in initiating and continuing the all-important "on-going conversation" with your kiddo? Check out this blog piece from Doug Field, who lists five ways to help kids gets talking.
Thanks for reading; hope you chose appropriate socks today...