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August 24, 2022 6:00 am
Dr. Ken Wilgus encourages parents to deliberately work their way out of the parenting role by the time their child is 18, and instructs them to see their teenagers as young adults, not large children. He offers tips on how to progressively give your teen more responsibility, along with examples of how to have difficult conversations on a range of topics, from music choices to dating. (Part 2 of 2)
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So you understand now that your teenager is not an old child. He and she are a young they are a young adult, you should think of a teenager as an adult in train and your task is to move them all today on Focus on the Family were continuing a great presentation about parenting preteens and teens featuring Dr. Ken will get us and your hostess focus Pres. and other Jim Daly I'm John Fuller. This is really good stuff. Dr. Ken is been talking about progressively giving more and more responsibility to your child and allowing more freedom so that they can learn how to become competent adults. While there still under your roof. I can well guess is a psychologist who specializes in adolescent behavior is the author of the book feeding them out the bite you a complete guide to parenting adolescents and launching them into the world and man. We cannot more highly recommend it. It's a wonderful resource and you can get a copy from us here when you get in touch.
Let's go ahead and here now from Dr. Ken Lucas speaking at an event sponsored by Christ's Church of the Valley in Phoenix Arizona on Focus on the Family if you list my podcast.
One of the episodes I'm interviewing my own children dangerous thing to their like 30 and 20. No, like 20 and one of the questions I asked them was I said now as you know I tell parents not to make speeches. Did I ever make speeches and all three of them went yesterday you gave speeches and a song grasping at straws right so I'm like okay but but where there are at least some things in my speeches that were helpful, and my middle girl sweet girl said and I quote daddy. I remember that you made speeches. I don't remember anything you said in any of your speeches. Okay that's not communicating many of you need to learn two things that will be important. One is the art of giving advice giving advice is mostly what you're trying to do but you try to crank it up like listen listen we don'tů Now I'm telling you, and it sounds like it's coming from here in an adult that seeking to be equal to you it feels like you're talking down so instead you take the big hill of what you want to tell them and you chop off the front.
In the end, like I did with one of my kids. I shall not say who. And I said you know, I know that your to break up with your boyfriend.
By the end of the summer. I said, but you know this is not my business because you handle your dating finds your deal, but I was just thinking that you're going to be kind of worried about this all summer long and I just thought maybe it be better if you just ended now.
But I'm sorry I even said anything, you know, Mama shrink. I probably worry too much. Did you hear me chop off the front and the back. I owned it I will only talk about specific and I definitely signal you can blow me off if you want to broke up with her boyfriend that day so you think you're welcome. It does not always work quite like that.
The point is that is more effective very often when you're worried you want to actually crank up will listen. I've lived a few years and is and you think that's going to make it easier for them to hear you, they won't.
It advice giving is very important you stick with that.
So that's the two things that not yelling and then advice giving. So that's how it helps your communication. You need to know that that if you understand that your teenager is an adult in train. If you start with planned emancipation and working openly in your house. We are up for your eventual being out from under as you will not need us and you're working toward that then communication opens up hugely got it. The other thing that will happen is how you discipline your children your teenagers because number one with communication you probably will not need as much discipline.
But when you do this funny when I talk about emancipation. People think I'm, like, let him do whatever but then want to talk about the discipline part of was like will slow rough well when you are saying these are the things that you don't need to answer to me about then that helps. Because then when there's things that you do answer to me about and there will be consequences.
You need to not kid around about the you need to set so in my book.
For example, will have one list you make two lists. One is a freedoms list where you literally writing out, you no longer answer to us. Use your own judgment in keeping your room however you want. In choosing your old friends.
All of these things and then on the other side of the pages. Some responsibilities it goes along with the second list will be the expectations and consequences list and those are very clear statements of, for example, you need to be home by 10 PM on weekend nights and then on the other side is consequences for that and it's critical that you write that in because if you don't write in consequence, you might as well write and then I went to get real mad and yell at you. A lot of you there yelling at your teenagers is, believe it or not, because you're not pulling the trigger on consequences.
Many of you think that by yelling and getting real intense, that helps. It actually makes it worse. She does look like a bully. What's really scary to a teenager is when you smile. I me picturing you, you're like, hey Brandon, I need the phone I need right now giving you my phone is my phone give me the phone.
No, I'm not given it okay a you run over there and get into some bizarre keep away fight that might end up with a child protective services on your doorstep or be you smile, nothing scarier than a parent that's going really not going to give me the phone. He's not going to give me the phone because when you discipline your teenagers. You're not trying to control everything. You're no longer a policeman you're a judge, a policeman has to make sure things happen and bad things don't we get a monitor. We gotta check all the stuff you're backing out instead.
You're a judge when things happen that go against our what our expectations are.
I will issue a consequence for that because here's your real power over your teenager ready you own everything that they have everything.
I love reminding teenagers that I can't take my Xbox because my grandmother about them, really. So if your dad takes your Xbox who you gonna call a hello police my father took my ex hello hello that's it. No, it's yours and that's powerful and you need to know that because it helps a lot, so that you won't overreact on things that you don't need to. That's real power.
So you would instead. In that example go okay not to give me the phone today. What give you five minutes to have it on the counter and if you do you'll only lose it for tomorrow and then in about 10 minutes if it's not on the counters got me three days and after 10 minutes. Just keep it because I will break it and it will be off and you won't have the phone you here that's much more powerful. Many teenagers love to learn they want to freak you out if you're this mad I'm in trouble. But if I can get you this mad then you'll just go on for an hour and then in it.
Two hours you're apologizing, you know your arguing with your spouse and I'm off at free and clear. You stay your judge, your judge and you let those things come across your desk and you issue consequences. Does that make sense so you first have very clear-cut expectations of the chores make them clear you do trash on Tuesday. I don't know what trash is always a good thing but thought Jews instead of just take care of the trash. It is by Tuesday and Thursday.
It needs to be out at the curb before you leave for school and if not, you will lose about and then you have to do whatever you do, set those consequences for that and do don't do more than that. Don't do less than that in the it's not a bad by the way, it's not a contract. Parents aware.
He tried that and she wouldn't sign need to sign it. This is you, promising that if you don't do this, we promise we will do this and so you do that you're going to get most pushback about phones and you need to be clear with yourselves that you're gonna let it it'll drift back you'll have it clearly set in. The next thing you know it's back in a room all night. How did that even happen. I thought we had this set and just dust off like it in baseball dust off home plate again.
Here's the deal. You gotta bring it back out so that you make clear limits on what they do with the phone and they will hate that they will hate that.
But you need to be firm about what the requirements are that are changing each year getting more free to do that as they get older. But when it comes to limit setting your judge, not a policeman because when you are continually giving over, then you're not trying to be in their life.
You're even apologetic dude I am so sorry but you lost seven dollars for that little cussing spray yesterday and I hate that for you because now you don't have much allowance, let him left. Can we talk about your you're not trying to get in there so many teenagers think my parents are trying to just you're not were trying.
We told you we are trying to work ourselves out of a job because I'll finish with this.
If you think about it. Many of us are really good parents to children. You know the age when your kids need to be cuddled and secure. A lot of times there really cut level and cute and it's not really that hard because you want to do that then when they get older grade school and so forth. They really need to learn things sometimes sports and skills, and many of us like to do that. I want to get out there and coach and help you and that's easy when he gets hard is when you're young adult gets to the point where they need to not need you. That's a difficult thing because you don't get anything out of that. Your reward out of that is simply for them and I think that you believe that you love your children, one of the biggest tests of that is how will you do in this last stage when you will be giving that which does not give back to you because you will teach them to not need you anymore and you'll be out of a job and done quite an insight there from Dr. Ken will guess will encourage you to get a copy of his book called feeding the mouth that bites you a complete guide to parenting adolescents and launching them into the world. When you get that book from us here at Focus on the Family will include a free audio download Dr. Ken's entire presentation with some extra content.
Donate today and request those resources will have the links in the show notes. Let's go ahead and return out tomorrow from Dr. Ken will guess is he was joined on stage by Pastor Dustin Tappan of Christ Church of the Valley and of the transition into a time of questions from the audience right so will now do some questions to apply a lot of seats are yes questions for you about you to superimpose the planned emancipation premise over these little bit and help us think practically so let's start with dating help us understand the dating world and how to have conversations with her kids about dating and what age dating should enter the equation say older please see older and 27 there will look okay, that's that LOL I never thought I yeah wrote Roland the dating world. Well, okay, so what you might you've seen it, but you may not know what the pattern of dating is really gotten chaotic that standard senior in high school dating pattern is like 1/8 grader. 30 years ago.
So we don't do dates like we used to.
This still going on, but it's it's very chaotic and and not as simple to track. However, I will tell you that if you want to start in the dating thing. The first thing you need to talk to tears about his when will they have the freedom to choose that for themselves and really I recommend 16 you can do. 17. There's no need to do earlier than that in real and I'm talking about when you can go away in a car alone with someone that you're dating then 16. I told my kids at 16 you're now if you want to, you're free to date.
I don't recommend because you know right high school dating anyway but that's the first thing that always needs to be answered is this up to me or is this up to you and all of these things if you skip over that. What I'm not saying it's up to you or me.
Just let me tell you this that always empty. Then whatever you say. After that, the first thing is, is this that you're telling me, and advice or have to. And once you made it clear that that's up to you about dating and who you date then you're much more free to have discussions that are important like is that guy is coming he honks and you go out to the Kari Dunning command is that do you like that and there's a reduced defensiveness about that. You can even a lot of you dads have your speech that you want to make to a boy you know they'll dads love that I'll be holding a shotgun and I'm a just, you know, here's the big trick is that it depends exclusively on your relationship with your daughter. If you are close to her and and she is close to you. Number one, then you'll be talking to a boy that she's fine with you talking don't talk to a boy to share what you talk to and number two it doesn't matter how scary you are. You want to sound dangerous.
You do this you tell the boy I'm really hoping you'll have a great time as my daughter and I are very close and will be talking about the whole evening, so I hope it goes great and if that's true that's scary that's not fun because it is so you can't substitute for that.
That means for you dads you really need to start intervening in your daughters as soon as possible, taking the kind of on dates and show them the kind of a value that they are for single parents. It's critical, especially moms that you also look for good male involvement in your daughter's life. That's a big part of what church is about.
I met with the youth workers here that I call them professional cool guys, don't we have professional cool guys that can I intervene with our kids and they are there.
Very cool. They're very aware and they can really input in your teenagers lives in something that important. So like anything else you want to have a conversation. It starts the first thing is making sure your teenager knows is this up to me now, or is it up to you and when will it be up to me and then everything else comes easy in a different category. What we do when our teens don't want to go to church yeah okay so church would be a thing that it's not know you have to go it is not yet everything is not yet, so you should have a plan for at some point in your house, they would have the freedom to choose not to go to church and you need to announce that to them. I suggest senior year, maybe spring of senior year, the answer to why I had to go to churches because it's what our family does. It happens to be the most important thing in my life and silly me. We want you to come with us what you want to emphasize is we get it that you don't agree with the and you we can't make you see it this way and that's really important that you establish early, you could drive home with 11-year-old even, but start by hey we thought today's the lesson well. The third teenager for sure. We thought today's lesson was great. What you think. What you don't like what you ask them what they thought about it and certainly give them the message that you are free to think differently from us the inside scoop here is that when you do show them that we understand you have the freedom to disagree. It gives you cannot say no to something that yes to something that you're not alive say no to. If you give them the freedom to say no. It's much more likely that they will be prepared and own it themselves and that's what I started with. You can't afford to have kids and obediently passively just do the religion thing you need to be asking what do you think where are you in this and making sure they know that they're free to tell you our last last category. This is your time to shine. You got your soapbox want to pontificate about isolation. There is whole thing that he even asked Ms. everything you really want. Yes, so bear with me. My biggest concern for your teenagers is isolation. I cannot believe in 30 years how what's happened to social relationships. I even have to explain the importance of friendships I have to explain this to girls.
You never had to explain that's what drama is. You know girl drama she came and tried to steal my best friend. That's just good stuff of connection and girls have always known that now even many of our girls are losing. And it's funny because before coving. I taught something like this and you and I had a slide. I looked at it is five years ago. I'm concerned about the pandemic of isolation that was before coving and now I'm really concerned that you need. First of all you need to be connected. I hope that you're connected in your church and with your people that you live around and real friend because I can't imagine you can't believe how many families come to see me in. They don't go anywhere and they don't know anybody in their teenager knows nobody or formal worse. And here's the thing I want you to encourage your teenagers to really focusing on the one or two people that they really feel closest to and stick with that person. I do girl in college of talking to Justin today and she said some of our friends is what what about Stephanie is yet know we don't talk more nice and white. She was your best friend six months ago. You don't just not talk to her you need to go talk to your living a life like a sitcom, and you're in the third season in all the supporting cast of shifted and you're still playing the part of you. You need and she did.
She what I said best friends go and talk things through and she did so I would encourage you to not groups. Your teens will be very discouraged if there your seen snaps from their all out and I'm not but you know my friends of the group. You do make friends with one or two people that you're close to and by the way guys and girls can be best friends on only market that it's just true, but but the one or two friends and encourage them to stick with that.
I don't even care if you don't like that friend. It is important that if they have shared that intimacy that connection that you really encourage them to do that because I mean it is you can tell a little bit.
It worries the heck out of me that we are isolated are teenagers and blank and looked down and they don't even gonna shake my aunt. It's critical you.
That's a huge part of our faith is part of whatever the entire depth of when Jesus is when two or more of you are gathered in my name, I am there like to.
What about just make the it's critical that the body of Christ is in us, and so that that's my soapbox. Let's really try to encourage your kids your teenagers to get out there and connect and last thing over the over the Internet is not really being there was given my friends every afternoon. You do where you meet with play call of duty. No, no, do a headset and a screen is not there and you know what the elders ago and that never did they go. Good point. They literally don't even know I have to explain this is three-dimensional, I'm here in Yuri so it's really important you try encourage that as best you can. Because covert is even added to special or marginally anxious kids that never really like it.
Not there anyway push get them out there as best you can, because they isolation is is really worrisome to me. Could you just said something to me talk about how her parents today put so much pressure on yourselves and you said something is really encouraging in their about us being better at it than we think we are. Yes, you guys are putting like that's going to finish with.
I guarantee you, virtually all of your doing better than you think. There's so much pressure parenting was not a word when I was growing up my parents did a good job of raising as they never thought about going to parenting class they just raise their children like raising lives I can just raise a menu to sell them off. It was just, you're done. But there's so much microscopic focus on are we doing it right so much, you know, we helping the neurons to connect just take it easy.
You're probably doing fine. It's not math. It's more like sailing you're trying to get to that goal, you attacked this way and you take that what you get there so I definitely want to say that and it's a good golden very least, just think about. Are you a better father than your father or your better mother than your mother and for many of you that's an easy one. You know for some of us it's not my dad is a very cool guy and I think so, but that's it. You don't have to fix everything. All of a sudden just, you're doing fine you do and especially as Christians, it is our privilege to participate is not up to us. God would never leave our children up really so young.
Let your mother that's thinking. Thanks for being here because Kelly was so helpful. Our thanks Pastor Dustin Tappan of Christ Church of the Valley in Phoenix Arizona for allowing us to share the event that they hosted featuring Dr. Ken Wilkinson that sounded like a great workshop for parents. Well done and we were only able to skim the surface of the question and answer time so were going to post the rest of that online. Dr. Ken covered some pretty sensitive subjects like sexuality and mental health issues. So I think you'll want to give it a listen done the extra content is available to you.
The link is in the show notes.
Also, let me recommend that you get a copy of the book by Dr. Ken will just called feeding them out the bite you a complete guide to parenting adolescents and launching them into the world that you will help you understand your child's needs. As an adolescent annual good ideas on how to respond to those needs and that can make the parenting process so much more fruitful yeah and less frustrating. And this would be a great book to go through with your spouse so that your kind of unified front you're on the same page as you do with the kids. It is really important for that to happen.
The kids will see any fissures in your parenting approach right Jean and I used Ken's book in our own parenting kids are really good at creating that divide and conquer strategy so get a copy of feeding them out the bite you from Mr. Focus on the Family and will send that out here for a monthly pledge of any amount or even a one-time gift we want to get this resource into your hands and remember when you donate to focus the proceeds go right back into the ministry here where we help people together to thrive in Christ, and will use those funds to provide resources to parents, which I think is great just one example is the evaluation tool that's been develop your focus, called the seven traits of effective parenting assessment.
It's a free quiz that helps you discover your strengths as a parent also helps you to identify areas that may need some work. After completing the quiz. You will be directed to articles and other resources that will strengthen those in a little weaker areas. Here's one endorsement from a mom named Ruth, she said. I took your parenting assessment online and was surprised to see that I scored lower on grace and forgiveness.
I thought those were easy for me, but in reality they're not. I'm looking forward to focusing on these areas of weakness and letting God do a work in me. Thank you for the insight and resources, but we appreciate that honesty Ruth. I identify little bit with tired of that survey is so helpful and I think it's about 400,000 moms and dads who take that so far joined them and learn how you might do better as a parent come visit the website to get started, and I hope you'll join us in ministry as well donate and find all those resources including the seven traits of effective parenting assessment will of all the details in the show notes and when you're online with us donate and request the book feeding the mouth that bites you by Dr. Ken Lucas. Also, we have a free audio download of his entire presentation including some more sensitive questions and answers that were posting online can also find out more when you call us. Our number is 800 K work-family 800-232-6459 next time Laura Hughes shares her powerful and offers encouragement to anyone who's lost a child through abortion is he's madly in and he wants you to bring your pain anything you've ever been to. On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ, I'm here asking people how they could both give and I don't know maybe love you give and get love through body.
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