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Guiding Your Teen Into Adulthood (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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March 18, 2021 6:00 am

Guiding Your Teen Into Adulthood (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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March 18, 2021 6:00 am

Dr. Kenneth Wilgus, Jessica Pfeiffer, and Ashley Parrish, who together host a podcast about parenting teens, offer practical guidance for preparing teen children for adulthood. Our panel addresses topics including "planned emancipation," appropriate boundaries, control vs. influence, teen entitlement, and much more. (Part 1 of 2)

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Parent are you looking for an informative encouraging and engaging resource for your team daughter. Check out the new and improved Frio magazine from Focus on the Family demo. The original size in a flick like format trusted biblically-based magazine provides teen girls with hearing stories and advice.

Cultural insight and positive role models healthy looking girl lived out her face subscribe Frio Brio now with freedom always comes responsibility. So by letting go of one thing. You also leave them to their own consequences of the things that are doing. My favorite is always the easy one is music that you can give a teenager. You now have the freedom it's up to you to make your own decision about using what you listen to the screen. You and God.

However, if your little sisters caught on your phone, listening to some of that stuff you lose your phone for that you need to make sure that's true of any adult, you have to be held responsible for your behavior insight from Dr. Ken will just describing the process of parenting teenagers that he calls planned emancipation. In other words, mom and dad. That's learning to let go and I wonder if you're ready for today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly will explore with the end goal for your parenting should be and how you and your team can get to that successful thanks for joining us today on John John. We hear so often from parents who are surprised by the team right they are expected to be quite like that. Suddenly there facing issues they never expected were there sweet, compassionate little child has transformed into this moody one syllable response mechanism and the euro what happened to that wonderful little somebody exchanged right and the other parents face those years with maybe more severe drought because not only that, but it's rebellion and some other things I think Regina and I were somewhere in between. We have great two wonderful sons really, but they're very normal and I'm happy to say that normal meaning they go through their moody moments they do have one word grunt answers a time, get homework done yet. How was your day at school and that today were going to cover some ground that's going to help empower you to empower them to be the adults they're going to need you teen years are to be feared and I really appreciated our kids when they went to the teen years especially now that there through the teen years I guess to have a little different perspective on how to get through the years successfully and I really appreciate their insights. I think a lot of listeners will be encouraged and maybe even pleasantly surprised by what they have to share with us lap so glad to have Dr. Ken will get back with us today is a psychologist who specializes in working with teens and their families are like that, not families, and their team and frankly was quite instrumental in helping Jean and I think we called your doctor will give us an extra couple of very important questions? Thank you so we can speak from that experience that Dr. will just help us get through a little bumpy patch.

He's written a great book called feeding the mouth that bites you, yes, that's right feeding. I love that title. A complete guide to parenting adolescents and launching them into the world and he also has launched a weekly podcast with his two associates in there with us today. They are, we have Ashley Parrish and Jessica Pfeiffer with us and their two moms who are actively raising kids. They speak and know firsthand with the team issues are that we've alluded to speak the team language will to both of you welcome the focus now. Let's set let's define that experience for the listener and the viewer on YouTube so describe your kids. So my youngest is 10 my oldest is 19 for cats. I want an elementary one middle school and high school and one in college so I sort of spread myself. Then of all the grade levels that make you an expert seven children. My oldest is a total chair. She just turned 14 and 11-year-old he's coming up on his preteen years, nine-year-old twins six-year-old and 24-year-olds. So when you have how many kids seven and 411. Why are you here doctor talk with you of course have 33 okay sand six grand you are well-qualified and I think were off to the races.

Let's start with a quick review of what planned emancipation is and how it works well so feeding method by she started his parent training.

This really not become lost.

A crusade to really get across the necessity of finding an endpoint to your parenting and if you really want to be effective with teenagers. That's what they want to know is when is this going to be over when will you say it's time for me to make me write my own decisions about this thing planned emancipation is simply an orderly giving over of freedom rather than it being arrested out of your cold dead hands.

They will get that freedom. But it is super important for teenagers to hear that these people who know me are saying hey we are now saying it's time for you to make that decision yourself so planned emancipation is essentially the pattern from roughly 13 until you finish high school that we as your parents are saying this is the steps that you will take the things that you will now be in charge of more and more as we receive from taking charge of these things in your life. Now I just want to make a picture Jean Daly, my wife, she's probably given away 50 of your books or not, I can want that always like Byron discount yes first set of steak night lights you have a word picture of the kind, illustrates how teenagers see our authority as parents describe that we could fix what you can't. It's really like foreign relations, really. If you think about a teenager really begins to see themselves as their own person. Well if that's the way they see it. Then if you picture your teenager like this nationstate divided into different sort of sub- states of different things they have to handle school, work, relation friendships, money, all of these things the hard part about this analogy is that if that's your teenager, then you are occupying troops in their territory. That's how teenagers feel.

So if you think about the reaction like how was school fine, all that. That's the the response of a an occupied nation is what this this feels like too many teenagers and they really want to know when are you going to be out of this part of my life. So the school management thing. When are you going to stop asking me and recognize that this is up to me.

All those things and so that the goal of planned emancipation essentially is to begin to announce right off that we are in fact occupying these tastes of your life. But we are on our way out. So we are moving out of this part in this part, and we are committed to leaving this sort of nationstate that you are as a young adult, which is what teenagers are were committed to being completely out of your life and you managing this pretty much by the end of high school. The proof is in the pudding, so Ashley and Jessica as you've applied Dr. Wilkerson's approach. How has it worked. Jessica let's start with you. Okay well I have young young teenager and so I think I might've mentioned earlier that the music thing where she is able to pick whatever music she wants, but you gotta be kidding me.

I know I know it's hard because I raised her to listen to almost exclusively Christian in a grant so you know I to be able to hand the reins over to her and allow her to choose his heart that I have told her she has a younger sister's not allowed to hear anything that's inappropriate and ungodly. You know I don't want to hear that my home into she can put it on your beds or whatever else, but I'm not to listen to it. She needs to have the responsibility and take the responsibly herself older teens though and I've completely let go of a lot of areas. He's 19 he's in college and I don't have really much control at all in his life, and I think that there's stages along the way that are intermediate. Of course you do. He really wants to be involved and likes a sense of control. This is a hard way. Come back to that is actually what what's been your experience deploying the get out of Dodge Stratus works.

I think whenever you continue to use the strategies that Dr. King talks about and you see the results and you see that your relationship isn't hindered that it's growing and there's a trust that your teenager is your teenager is having a trust in you because you're recognizing them as a young adult and sell it just works so well and the music was the first one for as as well, but there comes a time when we as parents will to realize that even we can hand over the reins in these areas were there just couldn't do it behind our backs lays so much better if we as their parents hand over that and he felt respected. Yes first says that Dan email like listening to at the friend's house or place of hiding just create conflict. Well that's right now back to you Dr. Kinser you you have counseled thousands of parents seeing this in play variety of temperaments as Jessica was mentioning. Why do we fall into that trap. What you use a term actually unexamined parenting. What you mean by that, and how do we examine ourselves better to be more effective at the very job that we want to do well in a lot of parents defense you know this. We've had a cultural confusion for about 100 years like the modern sense of adolescence is a new concept.

So a lot of times we don't rethink how we parent our kids because that's how we were parroted so current parents don't know that childhood comes to a natural and by about 13 and they just carry on with what they were doing before I met Kent Tammy.

Parents are like well you know it's the same thing my dad did not know why she doing difference did you like your dad when you're 50 yet. So why would you keep doing this so some of that is just ignorance but the other part is, especially when Christian families a sense of wealth, but we are serious about this.

So we aren't going to just be lax and let the worldly influences come in working to do a better job. It feels like even more righteous approach. What was so great when I listened, Ashley, Jessica, these are strong moms and hearing them get it and know that this is actively the thing we should do develop self-respect in our teenagers is just so exciting for me to hear that you know this is a passivity in this certainly is in a giving up on a godliness for our kids is in fact the opposite, increasing the effectiveness of parenting with teenagers. I think one thing you just said. Can that so shocking is that basically their young adults at 13.

I just heard a bunch people, my 13-year-old can even tithers you can come on they can't they can't do and they can type shoe due to okay because of Velcro to say that that is the first eye-popping thing that we as parents to underestimate what our 1314 17-year-olds can handle right yet is foundational in its mentioned in the book and we talk about in the podcast that one of the things that just struck me when I first started studying adolescence is that how recent our idea of adolescence were and if you look through history, including Jesus little tension with his mother at his 12. Paul's mentioned in Galatians 4 about the time set by the father all through history and all around the world. Everyone knew that around 13 was the end of childhood we are the only generation hundred years ago that forgot that and after World War II, which is by the way, when the warden, the term teenager was invented. We snapped adolescence on the end of childhood, and I wondered what, what's the problem how come these they don't seem to like this world. They somewhere in there got know that they are young adult when that's patronizing and I think that reframing just helps you as a parent. Hopefully let go a little bit can before we get into more of the book.

I do want to ask you about formulaic parenting because I think especially in Christian circles, we have done a lot of formula parenting we do approach it like a math equation.

If we add A+ B we get see and for those temperaments that can be very difficult to wake up someday to their 15-year-old telling them some terrible news yeah and wait a minute formula didn't work.

Why not what because it's not a formula that's the point, and I feel bad for parents like Jessica and Ashley's generation that parenting you like my parents did a good job. I don't think they ever thought about the parenting they were raising kids like raising livestock. You get a Mendelian just sell off this intense focus of how am I doing right. It makes it much tougher. And you're right you parents that have read so many things, but parenting is not like math is like sailing you you know where your goal is and you kinda have to tack left and right. There's lots of things you're going to do wrong much things that you should've done that you didn't do, but all of us are that way and what you're aiming for is good enough and especially as Christians.

It has to include recognizing that. Thank God. This is not my job primarily Jesus is with your teenager, even more than you are an end and he's doing okay.

That's hard to absorb. Actually, well if she feels responsible for the but you say it's more like sailing than that man, I love that analogy to go shoot themselves up over little things that it's it's fine if you're headed the right direction.

I'm laughing because when are now 20-year-old left the house for school and Troy are now 18-year-old seventh Thursday looked at us and said now don't over parent me Ashley and just let me ask you describe were the emancipation process has been most difficult for you. Ashley will start with you because we have similar personalities and expectations and that they can struggle has been letting go and how they keep their round. We are both neat and tidy moms and we keep emailing Teddy house and said to get over the reins to our teenagers when they turn 13, at one of the first freedoms on how they keep their RAM or if they keep the room clean at all nights and she enjoys the freedom when it gets really bad so cream right now and it's a struggle. I mean, I sent pictures to Jessica like at and we encourage each other getting that freedom is not a privilege to free them so you and I should mention that in all honesty, there is still a rumor that goes around my family that my sweet wife who's had to be married to this mad scientist going through all this stuff did very she's here and did actually bribe one of our children who shall not be named.

Would you please clean your room but don't tell your dad so many levels of wrong but I can't trust to tell me all that started to get clean and with some praise when Ashley has Artie said, look, this is your place then you're free to say this is gross without the defensiveness of okay all cleaned up you're not a cop about SWAT team in you're just commenting on well and is corrosive to their sense of self worth right and I think one of the problems let me speak for father's like if we don't get this right this training them that if they can keep the room clean. Never going to keep a job you know that can write down a lot and so how how do we teach them the right things with this approach of emancipation and they're not seeming to get this now your child, your son 16 in the room is clean and you're going he's never gonna make it a check for logical or you know Nero sciences that he hopes to be but every one of those things you did all that teaching up until 12 and I'm all about. If you're under 13-year-old. Do you know the whole chart. Clean your room. Do it again. It's not right, I'm fine with teaching all that for children, but now that their young adults that that thing is for them to be trained to have practice and in handling their own room and in that regard, it's almost better to think about what they do when they stay with friends and their affair.

He often quite different. There's even annoyed to hear. I get so tired of people saying your son is so gracious and yet that's a good thing, actually, but they don't see as much at home. One of the girlfriends that matter so awesome having her son over and spend the night because you did all the dishes she was like, what exactly is exactly and I was trying to encouraging. That's a great exactly, even if he maybe is not willing to do it at home as much our listeners and viewers are catching a little bit of encouragement from this conversation in certainly a more lighthearted approach to some of the challenging things that can come up with with teenagers.

Our guests are Dr. Ken will guess along with Jessica Pfeiffer and Ashley Parrish and Dr. Wilkerson's book is available. We got that at the website. Click the episode notes or give us a call 800 a family and of the book again is called feeding the mouth that bites you, and I don't want to drive like too hard on this cleaning the room thing but their room is there space for a parent to say you can keep your room is messy as you want but when we have ants crawling across the floor to do something about it later in my dreams seriously. Is there room for boundaries or or is it just totally a no man's own ever. Well I that is what I would have to say is the hardest part of parenting this way is watching consequences fall knowing your kid doesn't keep it clean room and they can't find the uniform for the game tonight and it's minutes before you have to leave the house.

It is very stressful to just stand there and watch them scramble and freak out in front of you. You want to jump in and help you have to have to set some consequences and boundaries. And yes, I think into the room the exterminators a couple hundred dollars babe you have to pony a hypothetical, by the way this happened one time my daughter had left a whole bunch of candy in the room and there was like a 10 foot line of ants finding candy and I'm thinking to draw the line somewhere on this as we say with freedom always comes responsibility. So handling your own stuff we want to respect that. But if your management of your stuff affects us.

That's different okay so it's almost like being a landlord in your room that we let you live in so you can have food in your room as soon as you can afford exterminator, but since you probably can't. It's gonna cost you a buck or $0.50, or becomes a cup later candy part in your room, and most teenagers get that they don't balk at you. It's a big different message between hate your messing with us versus cleanliness is next to godliness and try to teach you to say so those kind of boundaries that doesn't really responsibility you. The other one obviously goes with that is you want to scum in your room messing with putting clean clothes away so there's the washer there's a dryer you do your laundry so that falls under all of the boundaries not so much that were trying to teach you, but that we have the right not for your decisions to not mess with us and that kind of moves into teen entitlement which you address and the idea that there may need to learn that responsibility. And that's kind of what were getting out here right that's right. Is there more to say about that. The teen entitlement how we overplay but yet it's different from what you might think this is what Ashley mentioned about explaining the difference between when not giving over privilege getting over freedom. So part of the way to help your children to not be entitled is to make them responsible for the gonna let you if you have a dog you have to feed it and all that stuff and then we threatened will give it away whenever do but try to but with teenagers that's different that pulling out of their life isn't so much as giving them a shot at it as long as they handle it is deliberately leaving them alone like Ashley Jessica mentioned it's hard to stand by and go wow what you can do since you can't find your uniform and not step in that kind of thing helps them to be responsible. What helps more though is when you have those mixed issues like I think Ashley had one where you like what you do when your daughter didn't have some she needed at school and in what was the thing you told her she left her homework at home and says she coming from school and I told her that I will guarantee this one time, and from here on out it will stay at home and you will get a zero. She can be prepared and that's our job as parents is to prepare these children in training wants 13 acres to give them the freedoms so that when they're 18 and a graduate from there on their own because I surely don't want to be running up folders so to speak, when there at their job and their 24 years old. Okay, this is critical. This may be the point of the program because I think parents so often bailout their kids continuously and especially I think Christian parents, we want them to succeed and working to do their homework. If that's necessary.

That's absolutely the wrong thing to do right. Well, it leaves self-respect out and you can be creative. You can also like we would say okay if you forget something will bring to the taxi fee of two dollars and five dollars so I like that charge a little money, but it is kind of the issue is, and we think you're doing them a service or were being good parents because it reflects well upon us that were bailing them out. Look how good we are, and will get that science project that volcano is going around that was one thing I think Gina and I did well was the site. Never bail them out and made them do that on their own and were in town and were out of school were some of the parents are astronauts and physicists are connected to the Air Force Academy.

These rocket ships that actually fly, I wasn't in the role, but here's our little soapbox letting you know this little but when you have a teenager. For example, it wants to do tubes and you're trying to say that's not a good idea in this teenagers what would you like do whatever what options can you do to give them self-respect just go would you do this happened very recently, my home and I wanted to do to sports.

They were concurrent in the practice times are exactly the same, so she would have to mishap the practices of each sport and I said you know this is a lot here she's upper high school age she's needing to get ready for college.

She needs to make good grades. The next couple of years I said this is important time for you to be buttoning down on your schoolwork and everything is on Gonzalez sheet was determined to do it. So I said okay well you know if you want to do this. That's up to you can manage your own time you're old enough to know this. Plus you can drive yourself to practice. I don't have to manage that part but I'm not paying for two sports. You can have to come up with the money to pay for one sport. It can be the most expensive sport because I would have paid first. But anyway, but the other when you can to cover 70 and she was doing yard work in babysitting and everything else to make it happen. She did it.

It's tough. It's not been working out very well. A lot of time. It is a lesson to be learned cc might not do this again and I think I think were getting to the point that I really want to make and that I think is been such a help to us.

Dr. Ken and Jean is become apologists for your feeding the mouth that bites you, and I did.

The point is this, that it feels contrary to hold the kids accountable and that way it feels like were being mean, but in fact were being what they need because they need to learn that responsibility. And that's what's so absent today. Parenting is really true in it and it's the kind of thing that will be parents that will pick up the book and they're like oh yeah where to come to get this ahead and use the word you're doing, but we can't get it and then. But there are some that really it almost hits them is the wrong way to do it and that's what's so important. I love the podcast were we have two strong moms that are very nurturing because to a nurturing mom leaving like Jessica mentioned her daughter to have to pay for this and not bailing that feels worse than not it feels unloving but the thing you have to think about as well, but but to bail them out is to be disrespectful and to give your young adults.

Self-respect you have to go back and leave these things more to their own decision-making so it it's one or the other.

You can't think about it as well, but I would always go for being loving and bailing them out without thinking about you, but what are you can do to help them build self-respect there so much to cover so let's let's hold over. Let's go another day and will cover some more territory of the gradebook and your great experiences can we do that will, in the meantime, make sure you contact us here at Focus on the Family to get a copy of Dr. Lucas's book feeding the mouth that bites you, we got copies of that. We also have a free parenting assessment that takes just a few minutes.

It's online and it will help you see where your strong in your parenting and maybe some areas to work on and maybe even let go of again phone number is 800 a family or just click the link in the episode notes and then also if you can make a gift of any amount we believe in the content of the logos has in this book, but you will get it out for gift of any amount say thank you and send it if you can afford it will send it to you if you needed and trust of others cover the cost of this or just get in touch with us and if you can join us in the ministry here at Focus on the Family donate and find resources once more by clicking the link, and the behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back is continue the conversation and once more help you and your family thrive in. You've read accounts in the Bible how Christ so many people, but we really know very little about the lives of those early followers of Jesus chosen I've called you by name matches what life was like those who follow Christ based on the widely acclaimed TV series. The chosen this Focus on the Family book by best-selling author Jerry Jenkins rings color depth of the people surrounding Christ. You can find out

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