In my studies to obtain my degree, I took Adoloscent Growth and Development. It wasn’t my favorite class. The professor was very soft spoken and I always felt like I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying. She promised we wouldn’t be tested on picture captions in the chapters we studied, but the test would say otherwise. It was the only class in six years that I received an A-. I’m still salty about it.

I remember one thing from that class: our brains do not fully mature until somewhere between the ages of 18-25. That means our adoloscent children are operating on a partially matured brain. That explains a lot! It should also give us more grace toward them.

It explains irrational behavior and rash decisions. It explains mood swings and drama. It explains nearly everything.

It may explain it, but it doesn’t excuse it nor does it make it easier.

Our oldest daughter (and her husband) still feel cheated that she had a curfew. (They started dating at age 15 and were married seven years later. They are better for it.)

Our son is still upset that I wouldn’t let him go to the 8th grade Valentine dance. (My older daughter said it was no place for him. I believed her.)

Our youngest daughter thought it was a travesty that she couldn’t date anyone in the fourth grade. (She felt cheated for many years.)

Perhaps you have an adoloscent and their ability to make good decisions is impaired. Good news! It isn’t impaired, it hasn’t developed! Stay consistent. Listen well. Be the strong adult leader God intended you to be!

Read: 2 Peter 1:3-8

As parents, we focus so much on how to be good parents. We want to be wise and make good boundaries for our children. What if we focused, instead, on being attentive followers of Jesus? If we are filled with his love and divine nature, we will parent our children with all the love and grace that anyone could want. It’s just a thought.

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