“My parents just don’t understand me! Ackkkkkkkkkkk!”
Is this really a true statement or is it a biased one? Most misunderstandings happen because of poor communication between the two parties. Many teenagers hate the fact that their parents don’t treat them as adults. Being an adult brings responsibilities – one of which is talking about difficult and hard to discuss issues. If you want to be treated like an adult, then you must first start acting like an adult. This may not be what you wanted to hear but it is exactly the root of the problem. Acting like an adult is not easy if you haven’t been taught how!
So with this in mind, let’s see what Scriptures have to say about this topic. First, remember your role as Christian teenager. The Bible says that children (and this includes you) must obey their parents. Why? Because it is well pleasing to God! If you are disobedient, then you will reap what comes with disobedience and that can result in parents who are disagreeable.
~Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
~Colossians 3:20 Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Disobedience brings about punishment: being grounded, having privileges taken away, etc. Obedience is not just a “child” thing. Even adults have to answer to authority: the Bible, the laws of the land, rules at work, etc. How we react to these things as adults depends on how well we learned obedience in the home. If you are unwilling to obey now, you will have struggles with rules and authority throughout your entire life.
Most parents want to give their children everything they possibly can. Parents have to make choices and keep in mind what is best for their child. They will also make decisions based on how their child accepts responsibility. For example, are your chores done without being asked? How’s your attitude? Do you complain when you’re asked to set the table? Or do you wait to be asked several times? Your attitude and obedience will dictate your parents’ reaction. I’m sure you experience the exact same thing with your younger brother or sister. How do you feel when you ask your little sister to stay out of your room and she doesn’t? It’s basically the same thing. Obedience comes with practice and submitting yourself to God and His Word. It’s been this way since the beginning of man. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and paid the ultimate price: they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden – the perfect home! Wow! If they had just obeyed, we would all be living in paradise right now. But before you get too hard on them, do you disobey your parents? It’s the same thing!
If you are a good Christian teenager and do exactly as you are asked, the issue between you and your parents may be due to a lack of communication. How are your communication skills? Do you get frustrated when your parents say things you do not want to hear? Or do you really listen and hear them out? Do you interrupt them and yell at them: “You just don’t want to understand me!” Most parents want to talk to their kids but anger and emotions get in the way of communicating. Don’t you get upset when your younger sister yells at you? Your first reaction is to yell back, right? This is where most families go wrong. Angry words don’t get you anywhere but into a mess. The solution is to explain yourself and how you feel in a calm manner. If you’re too upset to talk at the moment, ask them to sit and talk at a later time when emotions have calmed down. Starting this technique will bring a blessing to you – not only in the home, but it is good training for relationships as well as good training for when you get a job in the work place. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” right? Sweet words will bring about better results in a conversation than angry words. It’s all up to you, teenager. Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. and Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Angry words will definitely produce an argument, but sweet words (calm words) will produce a calm conversation.
God gave us His Word so that we can learn from it. He wants us to be able to grow from it and learn how to please Him. We please Him by obeying Him. You must remember that your parents do love you. They want what is best for you. If you make it a habit to talk to them when each problem arises, you won’t have a whole list of pent up emotions waiting to explode at the next conversation! Keep your complaint list short and “talked up” with your parents. They will become your best friends when you’re older. :) Now is the time to set the ground work.