“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many” (Proverbs 4:10).
Have you ever listened to your teenager and wondered, “Where did my sweet little girl go?” Have you ever tried to have a real conversation with your teenage son and given it up as hopeless?
At that moment, you suddenly realized your children were not interested in talking to you or listening to what you had to say to them. You realized they inhabit their own world. Whether or not you can enter that world to have meaningful conversation with them depends a lot on the relationship you had with them before they became teenagers.
When children are young, they love talking to their parents. They want your attention. If you give it to them and if you spend time developing a quality relationship, that relationship will endure the rough teen years. It may emerge somewhat different than it was, but it will remain intact.
If your child is already a teenager and you are dissatisfied with the relationship you have with her, don’t give up. Remember, inside that grown-up body is the little child who once adored you. Take her out for a snack and try for a new start. Tell her you would like the relationship between the two of you to be better. Apologize for past neglect if necessary.
It may take a lot of time to rebuild a shattered relationship, but it is worth it. Keep trying. Ask God what you can do to reach into your teenager’s world.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.