The two most important leadership roles I play are husband and father.  One of the many reasons being a parent is important is each day I set precedent and sent my daughter forward into a time I cannot see.

Dr. Bob Rowland is the Family Ministries Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church where I attend.  In his 20+ years at our church it is estimated he has conducting over 17,000 (that is not a typo) counseling sessions!  17,000!  Few, if any, know more about family dynamics such as marriage and parenting than Bob.

Today, he launched a three-week parenting series on raising teenagers.  I was stretched as a parent and anxiously look forward to the next two weeks.  I wanted to pass his lessons on to you.

The following are 17 Lessons On Raising Teenagers who can one-day be functional adults:

  1. “You keep getting sucked down into reactive parenting.” – Bob’s point was parents need to be proactive.
  2. “Write down 5-6 qualities you want in them as adults (and focus on them).”
  3. “There are self-correcting issues (in a teen’s life).”
  4. “If you fast and pray for your children, you’re in a small minority.  You need God.”
  5. “Romans 12:1-2 gives you two outcomes.  One, children have a commitment to God.  Two, children have a God-framed world view.”
  6. “Our children have billions of dollars invested into developing a secular worldview – school, media, music.”
  7. “(As adults) We’ve tried to get as close to the (secular) line as possible and still call ourselves Christian.  Children go beyond the line.”
  8. “Our culture has feminized itself.”
  9. “Don’t make investments (ex. excessive sports) as parents that don’t have a payoff.”
  10. “Men of character are willing to do hard things.”
  11. “Critical thinking works in any culture.  Critical thinking is deciding what’s true and filtering everything through that.”
  12. “Nothing is more powerful than how you model your Christian faith.”
  13. “Teenagers have to be able to make decisions and own outcomes.”
  14. “All communication rides on the relationship you have with your teen.”
  15. “How much influence do you have with a child at 30 years old?  All they are willing to give you.”
  16. “Boys are much more at-risk in our culture than girls.  The education system (more lecture and less hands-on) is setup better for girls.”
  17. In a study by Tom Mortensen of the Pell Institute, the following stats were discovered:
  • Boys have 3 times the learning disabilities as girls.
  • Boys are 3 times more likely to have emotional problems as girls.
  • Boys are 1.5 times more likely to have delayed development.
  • Boys make up 80-90% of school discipline referrals.
  • Two-thirds of all D’s and F’s are made by boys.
  • Boys are suspended two times as often as girls.
  • Boys have to repeat kindergarten at twice the rate girls do.
  • Boys commit suicide at 4 times as much as girls.
  • Boys are incarcerated 8 times as much as girls.

I loved how the class closed when we were told, “No parent should suffer alone.”  If you live in the Atlanta area and looking for insights into becoming a better parent, I invite you to attend Bob’s class next Sunday at 11:00 at Fellowship Bible Church.  We would be glad invest in you as a leader and parent.


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