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Helping Teen Girls Love Their Families Well (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2022 5:00 am

Helping Teen Girls Love Their Families Well (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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February 16, 2022 5:00 am

Jessie Minassian believes our messy, imperfect families are part of God’s plan to transform us to be more like Jesus Christ. She provides an abundance of great advice to parents and teens about navigating issues like attitude, parent/child conflict, trust and freedom, siblings, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Get Jessie Minassian's book "Family: How to Love Yours" for your donation of any amount: https://donate.focusonthefamily.com/don-daily-broadcast-product-2022-02-15?refcd=1315202

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And in my mind of the universe were everything and everyone revolved around me. My dad was at the center of mass of the conflict to my stepdad and it seemed like he was unreasonable that I can write that he was always angry and I was just gone and so I decided I was gonna run away at least I thought I would. And so I started stuffing my backpack with various and sundry items like the $10 I asked as I was going to help you write. That's just a ministry. In describing some of the challenges that teens face with in the family, concerts, relationships, it is.

I'm sure you've observed some of that teenage angst in your home or hang on. It's coming for Jesse is back with us today on Focus on the Family in your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly on John Fuller John last time we had a great conversation with Jesse about family dynamics as you mentioned and how parents and teens can better navigate these issues like independence and better attitude and that maybe the imperfect reality of family life so often we expect perfection in your knocking to get that you can have something on a continuum. That's good to poor up perfection. I don't think is on that continuum of these problems happen it's that rebelliousness and the gentle stuff this is a program for that family 101.

It's not where you have serious and possible disorders that you might be dealing with. And I would encourage you if you're questioning if you do if your team is in a place it's more at risk in terms of their behavior. Call us and will will go deeper with you in that regard, we have programs and resources that can help in that space but for this.

This is just the normal stuff where we all giggle about teen attitude and parent attitude and if you missed the program last time I get it. It was so fun and Jesse was so vulnerable with this. I think we were pretty well John, but that's where life is at and we all have at this table we all have 10 kids in I think were living the dream right now and you can get an audio copy of her conversation with Jesse or look for the YouTube version. Also, make sure you get a copy of her great book family how to love yours and help them like you back not love you back necessarily just like you back swing by the episode notes to get started or give us a call. Jesse welcome back to focus his negativity.

It was so fun last time we just I so enjoyed that in very practical it's about love things that both parents and teens can do to help the relationship through these turbulent years and one parent said to me while back I really love this that they they enjoyed every stage and that's my goal.

I want to enjoy the toddler years. I want to enjoy the terrible twos on enjoy the those middle years of 6780 how those years or so and daddy are awesome to get into adolescence and then the teen years, but they can be very enjoyable years. You connect in a different way.

But it doesn't have to be a downer.

There probably will be more tension, more independence, more conversation around I need more space. Dad want you trust me, maybe until you do something I can't trust you for right and we covered all those topics last time. Let's get back added communication and conflict is kind of core you cover that in your wonderful book family had a love yours and help them like you pack which I so enjoy the title that communication and conflict can be challenging in every household. So how do we go about knowing or sinful human beings. How do we in fact understand the our teens a little better.

Those going to be some unhealthy habits, whatever they might be in moms and dads are going up Yep that's my team.

Just fill in the blank right but how do we how do we get started in helping to correct some of that behavior in a way that's constructive, not deconstructive or destructive. Yeah, actually I think we better preface this whole episode first by saying I'm so thankful for your grace and that collective grace from listeners because this is not something that I am great at the truth of all experts can be made so true, so true, and were bright in the trenches with this team and trying to figure I mean, I confess that I is not something I'm super proud of that tends to be a thrower.

There are very few things that can get mean that not look like exactly let's probably need some counseling on it.

Now I'm doing a lot better having thrown anything in a very long response. I things are oatmeal again hi I was pregnant excuse is my cell phone one time which I had an open bag of chips which went everywhere.

Actually most shamefully I was so mad when time I through God's holy word at my head. What's going on there. You obviously are doing better. You said that I was at a greater length family members who there's something about living under the same roof with people 24 hours a day, maybe just my husband and children know how to push my buttons back to that point where my emotions just can feel out of control and I've been learning to the power of the Holy Spirit how to get this to the Lord and try to stay calm and even live out those verses in Proverbs the gentle answer turns away wrath and the gentle answer also curbs my own wrath, so I'm working on all of that, but this is this is something I'm still in process as I don't want to come across as I've got the perfect enough I step solution, but I do think Scripture is so able to point out how to do life well in every area now includes family conflicts out and we talk and my family not fighting fair fights are pretty inevitable conflict is inevitable. Some people go now, but it's true. I mean I think in a healthy situation you have disagreement this agreement, at least in disagreement things that you don't appreciate about another things that be the wrong way and doesn't have to become all-out war. We can have a discussion or a fight that is constructive for the end goal is a better understanding of each other right comedian for communication to take place doesn't mean that you have to agree with me doesn't mean that our kids have to agree that we are wise and all-knowing, communicated information and we come to a better understanding of each other.

I think if we have that foundation and we can allow and family conflict to make us stronger as a family and is individually that's half the battle is teaching your kids how to disagree appropriate way, rather than with all the body language in the motion as they want when I want to win is not the best of human restricts you in fact use. Proverbs 12 is funny but guiding way to provide wisdom, particularly for teen girls what you call it the foolish girl and the wise girl. So what in Proverbs 12 caught your attention in that regard, the new created a table actually that will post online and people can see this but foolish girl and wise girl.

Proverbs 12 and we will add to that. It's not just foolish but foolish parents and wise. I post right so I mean all throughout Proverbs 12 we have really wise counsel for how to do communication well and the foolish girl hates being told when she is wrong. She gets trapped by a rebellious attitude insists my way is right and how often. As parents we insist that our ways are much everyday to think about it Like I told you your ways not that she gets irritated easily and let everyone know when she's mad at him.

She twists or exaggerates the truth and uses careless mean words plans ways to hurt others and and creates drama and an antithesis of that is someone who becomes wiser by the correction of others and really easy for us to say our team should become wiser for our correction but are we paying attention to the way that our kids are pointing out where we need to grow even if it's not in the most respectful way I can find that kernel of truth, analyze girl or parent gets out of trouble with an honorable cooperative attitude listens and learns from others. Let's insult slide and doesn't take others' disagreements personally always tells the truth and letting ways uses words to blast and heal others and finds joy in spreading peace and that's what I want to be sad of my life in a way that I communicate with my family rather than how many things month or the thrower, the one that catches me that I would think people struggle with but I think for the way God is created a woman they struggle you struggle with this. I want you to confirm this, but let let's insult slide and doesn't take others' disagreements personally. That's gonna be a tough one really hard for women. I think that yeah I mean to not take it personally for moms. I think we and without Christ intervention so easily let our mothering become identity and so if anyone has anything critical to say whether be her husband or children about our parenting style or what were doing. It's very hard to disentangle that from our core husbands are saying Amen. Right now I'm to get some folks.

As you know, life is real right. You also in your book talk about that the conflict journey in as I was alluding to. Three minutes ago. You have those eight, nine, 10-year-old years with your kids and they're just so kind to you because you can do no wrong in your mommy and daddy I love you mommy this is awesome. And then, 11, 12, 13, and you start to feel that conflict talk about that dynamic that change that moment because that's probably where most of us as parents begin to blow it. We begin to fail because it's been relatively smooth and it's been good we've done devotions together as a family. They have done the things we wanted them to do when we generally ask them to do it and now it's 1314 it's a little more rebellion. We might be saying they're not wanting to read together, not wanting to study the word together may be they have excuses, maybe even church is boring. Mom and dad come on home church church is boring. All those things that start to happen. How do we recognize that pattern and when we do to I guess keep them engaged. Yeah yeah I live semi-thought the first one being someone had told me early on. I'm so grateful for this analogy that our goal is for parenting not first were kind of leading rep ahead working showing them the way to go and then as they enter Canada's tween years that coming up alongside us in working to walking this thing together and then is the teen years, were actually kind of taken a step behind and can push in and out in front of us and saying all right. You know the way now walking and that's a good and healthy thing as parents were having a really hard time with part of it. Part of it is the society that we created. We think that kids or adults 18 because there technically adults so we think that we have to parents intensively until they're 18 and then all of a sudden will magically become adults and know how to do everything. I think we need to remember. I mean years ago. Kids are pretty much adult 13 you know they are already going to work.

It was they were done with school and and are capable of guidance I think were seen as pushback from teens and wanting more independence because they should have more independence, they should be making more decisions in moms we are so guilty of helicopter parenting and lawnmower parenting try to clear the way in front of him and and and we need to let them fail. Let them try and fail. Let them make some of those choices and then take it with a grain of salt. Jim I know you said take the long view of parenting and I couldn't agree more. Any for me.

I have lowered my standard of what I expect for my teens as they enter those years and from perfection down to I just want them to know that their loved and I want to know where to find Jesus and to take a step back and realize their God's kids in there and have to make those decisions on whether to attend church with her and have to make decisions on what they can eat or whether to spend their money and he they're going to hang out with. I'm not saying we shouldn't be involved as parents at all that I think the pendulum has needs to swing more back to the middle and find that balance of letting them be adults before they leave our home Jesse in your book, you have some great advice for teens about their role as the older or younger sibling. Another sibling arrived I don't know if you guys are so nice and especially if there sizes of the firstborn, you know, modest second in those to go at it all the time.

That's normal sibling rivalry, and what older children need to know what younger children when I was younger my three older brothers who they had their kind pecking order.

All figured out, and so when I arrived as this new fresh blood. I got the brunt of all of the torture in there some pretty fun embarrassing stories about how that played out so I don't expect that there'll be always peace between brothers and sisters, but I do think that we need to hold our kids to a higher standard or the date of hire standard rates of her younger siblings. Excellent opportunity to have someone else go first.

There something to be said for being able to watch someone else live life and make decisions both good and bad get to watch that and decide how I want to live my life working out for that sister who decided to move in with her boyfriend, or how's that working out for my brother who is studying really hard to the can get good grades and then make their decisions accordingly and on the flipside for older siblings, you have an amazing responsibility and opportunity to live out first Timothy 412 to be an example to the believers in your faith in your purity in your life and your faithfulness.

All those things that were trying to grow in and I did not take that responsibility well when I was a teenager I sort of tolerated my younger sister's existence. She was seven years younger than I was and because again the world revolved around me and it all orbited around my likes and dislikes and I wasn't intentional about investing into her when I was in the home with her and it's one of the greatest regrets I have in my life.

And so my encouragement for older siblings were still in the home with their younger siblings is to take that responsibility seriously. You have such power and opportunity and influence to be able to shape a life and if you just take the time to do that, but how often we say to the older sibling. Treat your younger brother better than you treating them come on, don't speak to him that way is not appropriate.

It's almost like please and thank you you sometimes have to say that like a thousand bright going okay for the 1000 can you not speak to your younger brother and I know we talked about yesterday not be the Holy Spirit drives me, not because I say those words all the time to Jim and I now as an adult can look back and really blew this amazing opportunity I had to be good big sister, I'm watching my two daughters now play this out in front of me and it seems like even though I know all the right things I've written books about this. I still am having a hard time getting to the heart of my kids to be able to see the world outside of how it affects the world we have to remember his parents explaining those seeds and water water water and sometimes it's a 100 year plant blossom for your kind words said from one sibling to the other. And finally, finally, and to quote the parenting expert Jim Daly the Longview just last night my daughters walked into the kitchen and she called her older sister and said I would meet you at such and such coffee shop and talk they had more time together last night that I it really wasn't but 10 years ago all men this fireworks in Florida be encouraged parents, Jesse, you use a phrase in the book mean mom syndrome and I think I could almost say the meeting that summer because I know where this is going, but it's not about the parent. It's about the siblings tell me that dynamic were the older sibling, takes on that role.

I think every event is that our kids are part of that healthy growing up is imitating what they see in adults and sometimes for good or for bad bosses. The problem is that especially for girls and I would imagine possibly for older boys as well for their take on this like parental role think their job to get their younger siblings into shape and at that for girls, I see a lot of this can mean mom syndrome I take on. Not because they don't have that the age of an wisdom that comes of age to be able to do it gently. They just come across as bossy and in telling what to do and you should do this you should do this and it's kind of comical to watch sometimes because they're doing the exact same thing that they're telling their younger siblings not to do, but I think you know unfortunately some kids don't have the luxury of having apparent in the home well and so this gets a little bit trickier, but encouraged girls and was used up and take out the mean part. Even if you're forced to take on a bit of a parental role, and you can still do it in a kind and gentle way of thinking of those examples were my oldest say hey dad said you need to put your your shoe is still not executed exactly right. And those poor younger siblings. It is going right so often said to reduce the older one, the nurses talk also about the relationship between teen daughter there so many dynamics in that and I think for a lot of us dads not understood dynamics not well enough we try to. Sometimes I think parents are daughters like we do our sons.

We recognize the differences but it is a different tact that you need to take describe that you had had to build it with her stepfather describe the challenges they're both from the dad's perspective, but also the teen girls perspective. I got some so many things to pack in and out of that and I really want to make sure to touch on both sides, both for the dads to call you to a high standard of taking your responsibility with your daughter seriously to understand that that you are going to be the first case that she has of what it looks like to have someone love you unconditionally to appreciate who you are to tell you that you're beautiful to show you what it looks like to treat a woman well set when she goes out and date she's getting now that this guy is not worth her time because he doesn't treat her the way that you treated her and on the flipside, I also want to make sure that daughters know that you have the responsibility to let God fill up where your daddy's gonna blow it because he is he just said he's not perfect is not your perfect daddy the way that God is and so I've I've had both.

I feel like I wish that, especially in those years when I was in the home.

I wish there was more warmth from my father more event of the connection there. But I also watch the way that God filled at those holes left by not knowing my biological father and also by the struggles that I had with my dad in the home. He was so faithful to make sure that I wasn't lacking anything and say help me be confident in all those things that we point to data there's been a lot of talk in recent years about dad's role in how important that is.

And I'm so thankful for that. But I don't want to put too much emphasis there that a dad doesn't feel like he has to play God and make sure that his daughter is you know understands her worth and her beauty and doesn't go looking for the attention of boys, and it all rests on his shoulders or his daughters can become you know, whatever. So let me interject it because I think one of the things we like simple guys like simple presence of father just needs to be present and I think if you can aim at that just to be available have those discussions make time to discard that timeout. Maybe it's 1015 minutes to walk around the block, but just let her know you care and you know but that's pretty simple. It's not complicated and that means you gotta put some things aside, maybe not do the work he planned on doing tonight, but just give her some your time. I think if you do that your daughter will be generally pretty healthy. Absolutely yeah yeah I would agree with that. And again, it's not. Unfortunately our children on this nasty little thing called free will so you could do perfectly and it and it may not have the impact that you help it well bad I mean there's plenty of studies that showed that that presence is not warmth that availability you go a very long way in her formation and her identity and also in her and her faith. The other area here in this will be it for today is running on the time but it's a powerful story with your mom you not sure that we both lost our mom's cancer, but we haven't talked about the mom factor talk about your mom what you learned in that setting. The fight you may have had, but more importantly the love you have for each other. My mom listened the wisest in the past.

I am so grateful that she chose to keep me.

I'm so grateful that she was brave enough to stick with a marriage that was very difficult for a lot of years and I'm so grateful for her. The thing that I regret most is not the door slamming in the eye rolling in the years that I spent with her. The thing I regret most is the apathy and it really has fueled a desire in me to help families understand that change will come. We don't know when it will happen.

It could be slow enough then leaving the nest and going off to make a life of their own that you just don't know how many days you have and losing my mom spent 10 years now and has changed how I live today. Life is no longer safe in the sense that I realize that my my stepdad and my in-laws were mortal creatures and and Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He says it's better to live in and the house of mourning than the house of pleasure. I it's better to go to the funeral, then to the party because it teaches us how to live today.

It reminds us of of our end and it reminds us to live today with purpose and intentionality and to make the most of the minutes and hours in the days in the years that we have with our kids with our parents with their siblings and to do life on purpose that is Welsh and that's really the crux of your book family how to love yours and help them like you back.

I think that is a perfect place to have the Longview and love each other even through the tough stuff. You have touched our hearts to the Jesse thank you for your tenderness and for your stories and to our listeners. If this conversation has sparked some questions or concerns about your own family were here for you. Call us at Focus on the Family.

We have many many resources to help you at all different levels. I mean at the top level the 101 or the 4040. The deeper issues that you face. We want to be there for you no matter what. Whether that's the counseling team or just the book that can help you steer and guide you in your way.

We want to encourage you and support you. So contact us today number to call is 800 232-645-9800 K and the word family or take a look in the episode notes and when you make a donation of any amount to the ministry today either a one-time gift or a monthly pledge will say thank you for joining the support team. Jesse spoke to you. It's called family and is a great resource coming up next on sharing the truth in this day and age can be difficult and Roderigo offers powerful stories of Christians who serve God and persecution for Christian hope is sulfur for Jesus Christ and you're willing to take whatever the world throws out will try mortal triumph through your sacrifice on behalf of Jim Daly of the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller back once again help you and your family thrive when building your teen girls belief system and that the main thing How to say and how every day allowing God for everything even if you're having a wonderful day or terrible one. Discover how Brio magazine can capture the heart of your teen girl@focusonthefamily.com/Brio radio


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