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As a parent, youth group and church involvement should be a non-negotiable part of your teen’s life, and that means they take priority over homework (do it the night before), sports, or any other extra-curricular commitments.
Don’t be the parent who is soft on these two commitments, but pushes their kid in schooling, sports, etc. While youth group and church is very important, another mistake I see Christian parents make is assuming them can completely outsource the spiritual development of their child to these two things.
Read Deuteronomy 6 for an overview of what God expects from parents as it relates to the spiritual nurture and development of their children.
Ultimately, you are charged with teaching and modelling to your teen what follow Jesus means, and while church, youth groups, Christian schools can be a to that end, they are only that: support mechanisms.The number of parents who wrap their lives/schedules around their teen’s activities is mind-boggling to me. I know many parents want to provide their children with experiences and opportunities they never had growing up, but something’s gone wrong with our understanding of family and parenting when our teen’s wants/”needs” are allowed to overwhelm the family’s day-to-day routines. The devil-may-care ambivalence that once defined the teenage subculture has now taken root as parents shrug their shoulders, ask, “What can you do?Parents need to prioritize investing in their relationship with God (individually and as a couple), themselves and each other, but sadly all of these are often neglected in the name of “helping the kids get ahead.” “Don’t let the youth sports cartel run your life,” says Jen singer, author of You’re A Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either). ” and let their teens “figure things out for themselves.” I think permissive parenting (i.e., providing little direction, limits, and consequences) is on the rise because many parents don’t know how to dialogue with and discipline their children.During the teenage years, it’s especially important to slowly put to death the perception that your teen is still “a kid.” They are , and if you engage them as such, you will find that over time, they unconsciously take on this mantle for themselves.Yes, your teen can be moody, self-absorbed, irresponsible, etc., but your teen can also be brilliant, creative, selfless, and mature.
I can’t think of many good reasons why families can’t limit teens to one major sport/extra-curricular activity per season. Maybe parents don’t have any limits of boundaries within their own life, so they don’t know how to communicate the value of these to their teen.