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Coaching Your Kids Through the Teen Years

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 6:00 am

Coaching Your Kids Through the Teen Years

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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April 20, 2022 6:00 am

Dr. Gary Chapman gives you some insight into the teen years. He explains how teens are developing the ability to think logically and are learning to process anger. Dr. Chapman shares methods to help teens learn to apologize, forgive, and nurtures an attitude of service in them.

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Dr. Gary Chapman

They are going to write you more than anything we should return to not I need to be changing go and apologize for my past life that's Dr. Gary Chapman yesterday on Focus on the Family your hostess both as president and author Jim Daly thanks for joining us on John Fuller at John when your child reaches the teen years. You're looking at a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows teams do test the limits and often times pushing those buttons that we have as parents, as they battle for their independence and we try to defend and allow that independence here Focus on the Family we want to help you in that journey as a parent and to do a great job so that when they're in their 20s and 30s you've got a great and strong relationship with them. That's what it's about and hopefully in that they have a relationship with the Lord, which is all of our parents hearts desire, and our guest today, Dr. Gary Chapman is probably the the order of his accreditation here is he's a dad or granddad a family counselor and Dr. Chapman has some great insights and to help us better understand the teen brain and how we can better get through that time. Yet, this is can be a really good conversation. Dr. Chapman is no stranger to Focus on the Family.

He's been here number of times talking about various aspects of the five love languages. He is an author, speaker, pastor, counselor, and today would be talking about some of the content in one of his books.

Things I wish I'd known before.

My child became a teenager very accurate title a lot of things you want to know for your child because now another way of saying that, and we do have copies of that book here at the ministry to stop by the show notes for details. Welcome back to focus will thank you it's good to be back is so good to have you here, and the teen years. As we were just bantering about John and I can really be challenging and it is a scream for help from a lot of parents because they don't know what to do what I'm going to put you on the spot. What were those years like for you and your own family you know with our daughter.

They were really easy to love the girls and then our son came along and I realize what people had trouble raising children both ways right right really can't but in your case that you so that was your challenge with some. It was our son. Now our daughter from the very beginning yard as a child and through teenage years.

He was nicely compliant and she knew where she was going she said when she was eight years old and will be a doctor when I grow up and soak in high school she took three years of chemistry in three years. The Latin went on to be a doctor. My son was four years younger than her as all this began to unfold.

He said you know Shelley is going to miss a lot alive. She's to focus on young man in that context for all of us and maybe some listening and viewing. Right now they're living they have the teenagers in the home and their ears are all tipped in on this conversation. What causes that turbulence why why we laugh. No humors rooted in truth, why we laugh about the teen years because it is true, it's turbulent.

It is true you know. Remember, the mother who said to me she said Jonesy set out all of what's happened to my son.

She said since he became a teenager. He's questioning everything us have said through the years and she said it just like his brain is changed and I said, you guessed it. I say happening in the brain is refocusing during those teenage years and so now there are things happening there thinking differently and one of the things is there thinking now more logically and I didn't say that their logical beginning to develop logical thought, you know. And so they're going to question things and so we have to learn how to work with that rather than working against that right any say in the book that you need to really remember it's developing absolute is not developed then I'm telling you when you're in the heat of battle with you teenager that's hard is the adult remember that that they're not there I saw your research and your and all the research boys brain is a fully developed till 2525 family parishes went through and describes attributes of the of the teen brain what what is going on but I think one of them is what we just mentioned that is, they are beginning to think logically and consequently they are questioning almost everything.

Things we tell them their whole lifetime there questioning those things is that really true and they're going to ask us questions and we going to help them work through that. Are we going to shut it down bus and you know better than that and I told you that if different from that, you know, and so we gotta learn to cooperate with that. The other thing I think in the brain. What's happening is the emotional part of the brain is going through some changes, so there really high really low in the morning they can this be so jovial and everything seems wonderful and I go off to school and come back that evening and there in the pits you have something happen today that influence them in a negative way.

Now there in the pits and parents is hard to understand because this morning you were this way the night you this way.

But it's a part of the development of the brain etc. I think this emotional waves are yet and again I'll have the voice of John. You got three girls jump in.

You have plenty of emotion you boys from what I understand what I experience fairly predictable. They're pretty straightforward they can be too much. So you know whether it's physical aggression on their all of that and their very action oriented, typically where from what I've heard from my dad friends with girls is it's very emotional. You know something just goes wrong and you don't even understand what what the conversation is right now. Was that your experience you think you can be true, but I don't think it's true for all girls are all God had 8020 and I slant right now.

In fact, you, your son, Eric, you had that explosive moment that you described in the book when he was a teenager and something took place. First, what happened, how did you manage it and how did you repair the damage and well it had to do with anger and we got into an argument. One night I think is probably 14 at the time and I was yelling at him and I said hateful things to him and he was yelling at me and said hateful things to me and in the middle of that argument. He just walked out of the room and walked out the front door slammed the door. When he did, I woke up and I thought, oh God, I thought I was further along than this yelling at the sun alive and SNL accounting to start crying and I just confessed my sin to God and I really said, Lord, I thought I was further along than this, that I would never do this anytime I don't hello but in time. A somewhat back in the house and we did us the dirt. Could you come in here minute son and he came and sat down and I just pour my heart out to close the door, I will apologize to you. A father should never talk to us on the well talk to you and I said I said some hateful things and that's not the way I feel about you. I love you and I just pour my heart out and I finally said this, I hope you can forgive me and he said dad that was not your fault. I started that and I should talk to you that way when I was walking up the street. I asked God to forgive me and I will ask you to forgive me and hugged each other and we try hard and we hugged each other. We cried and when it was what when that was all over we both gonna come down. That's a good one. We try to learn how to process anger in a positive way and talk our way through anger rather than yelling our way through anger. So what if the next time you're angry at me you just say dad I'm anger. Can we talk and I'll sit down with you and just listen to the next on my mind with you all decide to become angry. Can we talk and let's learn how to do this and that was a huge turning point in our relationship, but I would think when he came back to the house and you had that exchange of forgiveness really had to turn around and go okay maybe were further along than I thought. That's the irony but that's the issue with anger at such a flash. I mean, there's something in us. It's triggering us and it's like we don't like who we are in that moment, especially those of us that believe in Christ tonight.

It's not a pretty sight. It's an ugly side of our flesh right. It was unfortunate, damaging some parents go through these situations, again and again and again. And that's when the child checks out and sometimes they run away from home, they leave our buddy Mike until I get to high school tendinitis everything to do with her parents and that's what's tragic and that's why I say to parents when you recognize that what you've done or said is not loving and kind. Apologize and sometimes parents identify apologize what they lose respect for me and us in the play gain respect they already know that what you did was wrong.

Not so true Gary I do appreciate that idea of apologizing. There is that next step that you talk about the book though and that is the ability to forgive. So I don't know, sometimes I might think of those two is one and the same but you are saying now there are two different acts. I think apology is when we acknowledge our own failure to the other person and in the book, I discuss five different ways that people do apologize because we have different ideas on what apology means and we can discuss those if you like, but I think in response to an apology. The biblical responses. Forgiveness and were told in Ephesians 4 that were to forgive in the same way God forgives us why does God forgive us when we confess our sins, God forgives us, so when the person apologizes to us are following godly model.

When we forgive and forgiveness is not a feeling.

Forgiveness is a choice. It's a choice to pardon the person and not go make you pay for this and to remove the barrier that the offense is created between us because every time we have that kind of experience it puts on emotional block and a wall between us and forgiveness removes the block so that now our relationship can go forward not so good. I do want to hit those actually the five languages of apology.

So if we can, let's let's go through those.

I think the first one is expressing regret. Let me ask it in a kind of tough question. What if your teenager doesn't really connect with regret not seeing the note. Lately they haven't developed that ability to have regret.

How does a parent steer their teenager into feeling regret we can trigger their emotions that we can give them a model and therefore more likely to follow our model anyway right are words but expressly grant all things done with the words I'm sorry like this is one of the most common ways that people apologize I'm sorry but don't ever stop with those words, tell them what you're sorry for specifically specific am sorry that I lost my temper and yelled at you because we simply say I'm sorry that they can be trite to a lot of people. He doesn't connect mostly with them at Utah. I'm sorry that I don't ever put the word, but in their I'm sorry that I don't know… But if you had not been I would not yeah and now you're blaming them right for your behavior so expressing regret is one of the ways to apologize another ways accepting responsibility. I was wrong.

I should not of done that is no excuse for that. I take full responsibility for our culture is not good at this the right.

This is and were getting worse at it. I think this is really the first step in teaching a child apologize for your old breaks a cookie and says it broke it broke and the parents of honey let's say that a different way. I broke the cookie is not a sin to break a cookie right what is happening except responsibility and for some people you're not sincere. If you don't accept responsibility if you don't admit that what you did was wrong and then 1/3 way of expressing apology is offering to make restitution. How can I make this up to.

I know I've hurt you deeply, but I will make it right. And if this is what they consider to be a sincere apology will have an idea of what you can do to make it right and then expressing the desire to change my behavior. I don't want to do that again. I don't like what I did and I don't want to do it again.

Can you help me. Can we talk can we get a plan that I won't do that again and then the last is actually requesting forgiveness, will you forgive me. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. So I think one of the things I suggest in this book is with children that are just before the teenage years are when they're in the teenage years is that it covered everything. The discussion about apology that what what what does everybody think here is is a sincere apology because we grew up. All of us grew up with some idea that we learn from our parents that either.

I'm sorry. Maybe that's all we've ever learned. I'm sorry, what was your idea. What a sincere apology. Sounds like and then discuss these five different ways because these are ways we discovered with thousands of people that these five Wi-Fi was a very common sense, what we're doing now is getting on the front burner of our teenagers and RNR sales that they're going to be times of the hunt apologize to each other because I'm not going be a perfect father.

Her perfect mother and you not to be perfect teenagers still had to be perfect, but we will deal with our failures.

So when I hurt you if if I don't come to you and apologize you come to me and say that I think you mean apology and so you tell me about it and you tell me what you heard me say, or do you know oh I did it but I like that idea than writing you inviting it that makes a fugitive you invited they will come. But where were saying this is a huge part of our fame. We will learn how to apologize and then we will not forgive, and here's what it means to forgive, and we talk about forgiveness is a great idea. Just pray up before you make that and be ready and be help in real about the gear you have a illustration of course your counseling with lots of families and have done so for years, but you have a story about a 13-year-old that you counseled after he ran away from home.

What happened when the course of our conversation, he said to me, my parents don't let me they love my brother with. I don't let me. I knew his father and mother I knew they loved. The problem is they had never learned how to communicate love to him. They never learn what I call his love language right and so you and in the course of conversation later own counsel with the parents we wrote brought up this idea they were familiar with the concept of love languages and that this son is a love language is different from your other son and so he doesn't fill out even though you love right and so the whole concept of the five love languages applies than those teenage years because of a teenager doesn't feel loved by the parents will be healthy emotionally vinegar relate well to the parents and chances are they won't relate well to other people.

What was so critical about that night. I think we all fall prey to this as we think of that relationship from our viewpoint and you know I've said I love you I'm doing all the things that express love to you and it's missing the mark, because that's not their love language which is really critical to remind people of that or to introduce people to that. What are the five love languages quickly whether five ways to express love own emotional level, whether it's with husbands and wives are with parents and children. One is words of affirmation just looking for things that you can honestly genuinely affirm them for. And then one is acts of service, doing something for them that you know they would like for you to do cooking a meal is in active service, fixing their special meal that they really like as a teenager is an active service quality time giving them your undivided attention. That means when you're teenagers talking with you. You give them your full attention. You're not looking at your computer or the television or reading a magazine.

You're giving them full attention, and it doesn't always mean you're talking sometimes you can just be walking on the road with them having time together are doing something they really want you to do with the quality time and then physical touch. We've long known the emotional power of physical touch and for some teenagers this is their language.

If you see them always hugging each other and hugging other people append people in the back you put me pretty sure that's what they want for themselves either and then the last one is receiving gifts and for some teenagers gifts is their primary language. Don't hear me saying if that's their language.

Give them everything they want right now know we love them too much to do that even God doesn't do that right but I like the concept of it.

What they're experiencing.

And that is that you are thinking of me. I like putting it in that context is that II think you've use the references give your teenager a rock because it has certain colors that reminded you of that teenager and that they may say that gift which you would never savor rock right but for them it meant something to be taken a walk and find a bird feather Just brush it. I can take it home and if if gifts is there language that teenage son is at his legs and then I found this I thought about you men look at the colors in this thing on what were what you think this came I want you to have this this evening. He'll see it as a gift you thinking about Gary also talked about the need for teens to learn an attitude of service. I can imagine a more difficult time for some to apply this principle you know wake up early Saturday morning because were going to go to the pet farm and you know scoop that actually is the way it was a animal restoration place, and she loves animals and so she's like deceptive volunteer and we were literally cleaning stalls, docs and all kinds of things and skipping the aftermath of their good eating habits that but it was good.

I don't the boys really did learn little active service in life that's important well I think this is the lifestyle of the Christian when you really get down to Jesus said about himself did not come to be served. I came to serve and to give my life a ransom for other son is so important in particular Christian families that we have an attitude of service and I think the teenager is far more likely to come into this if they see us serving other people. I member my when I was growing up and I was a teenager I don't know the my parents ever talk to me about serving others. When I watch them. My dad with my loans for people when they were in the hospital.

My mother would like food, make food and take it to them are in an and I saw them doing things like this for people all the time and so I bought into that amass all that you know and so I think I think our model. First of all, and then, yes, we don't discuss this and, yes, bring them into that. I member when our teenagers are our kids are teenagers. One of the things I did in the fall when the leaves were falling. I get good rates in the back of the car we drive through the neighborhood and look for houses where the leaves are still in the yard and I knocked on the door and select I'm Gary Chapman. We lived in the neighborhood. I'm trying to teach my kids how to serve other people and if you don't mind would like to write your yard for sandlot and everything my little speech and then say hello. I'd be happy for you. To the right. My lease is not only money I just tend to teach them how to serve people and I never found anybody would let us do that, and the kids got out there and they loved the part they really liked when you get them in the pilot and jump in the pile lecture to give your my ad for my name that's a good gear you asked a great question in the book, which I think is a tremendous place to land today and that is as a parent you ask yourself and encourage other parents as themselves. What if my team turns out to be just like me and what is their point in that whether you have fear and the answer or comfort in the answer.

I would imagine well you know it's really the most serious question I ever asked myself and am glad I did because I think some things so I chose the parents of teenagers to to ask yourself what if they handle anger the way I handling because I realized the story I told her my son was yelling at me because he learned it from me and and and what it what if they treat with what when they get older they treat their spouse the way of treatment was. I drive a car. The way I drive a car Canadian club. What if I have the same work ethic that I have and what if I talk to other people.

The way I talk to other people and what they talk about people who are different from them the same way I do, what they respond to alcohol and drugs. And what if they have the same quality relationship with God that I have and I go old and the book was that is worth it right there but yeah I don't know if that's in the back to get home and look at that.

Those are good thought-provoking questions you know Jean I would just talk about this the other night and she said something to me it sounded.

I mean, just like her mom and I stopped her. I said McGinnis that sounded just like your mom's visit. Did we start talking about how often we are expressing those emotions are those verbal lashes. The way we got it from her parents and then we turn around and do it to those around us. It will help us to begin to change some things in our lives.

We asked those questions of ourselves and then say okay I need ask God to transform in this area. That's a great place to land.

This is been so good and thank you enough for again awakening our hearts to what's the goal here to win an argument to win a debate on Tony with teenagers that a net you've got to look at the big picture and I guess that in the last question here thinking of your 15-year-old is a 40-year-old, and is their benefit and that I think the answer to your question to know they can be yeah I think so because they are going to be greatly influenced by our model more than anything we say our model so they turn out to be like me.

In this particular area mug will be happy with that. If not I need to be changing it now and I need to go and apologize for my past failures with this and make those changes.

What a great challenge. I hope you've enjoyed this and there so many resources. Her focus to help in the journey.

I think everything that Gary has written. We offer and that certainly will tag to the link to the website to let you be able to take the test to see the quiz to see what your love languages. I would encourage you to apply it, especially when it comes to teens. This great book. Things I wish I'd known before. My child became a teenager.

The other title to that book is help me.

It is a wonderful resource and one that you need. As a parent I mean these are tools don't go do this blindly. There's plenty of help here and Gary is the best at this education for us as parents to do it better. So Gary again, thank you for being with us. Thank you and if you would like to invest and get a copy of the book get a hold of us will send you a copy if you can help us financially will send you copy the book is our way of saying thank you, either monthly or a one-time gift and if that's too much and near, unable will provide it for you were to trust others will take care of the cost of that just get a hold of us. We have caring Christian counselors that can help you as well. If you're in a real parenting pickle. Let us give you some advice and provide other resources. Probably mostly Gary stuff that can help you reach out to us donate, you can request that book things I wish I'd known before. My child became a teenager in his Jim said will link over to the quiz that Gary mentioned earlier as well. Our website and contact information is all in the show notes plan to join us again tomorrow.

Dr. Julie Slattery will describe how, as a wife, you can help build a more intimate marriage that actually to build an intimate relationship.

You have to get through the disappointment because otherwise you're just letting each other based on sorting the selfishness of what you're doing for me when you get disappointed when it actually cost him something to live and reach towards that other person is when you start putting true bricks and no intimacy on 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 and help you and your family thrive in Christ. Okay Mike got here soon as I could. What's going on hey I just want to give you an update on my marriage is a good news. Yeah our marriage is going great right now. I can be happier. That's awesome you. It's like a solid 510 having a marriage that's just okay is what couples really want to live. Give yourself and your spouse an all-inclusive weekend you slow your pace. Focus on each other get more that's

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