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Traversing Your Kid’s Teenage Phase

Even though I’m not a parent, I’m an uncle. And as an involved uncle, who has helped raise two nephews and a niece, I get a firsthand glimpse at the struggles of parenting a teenager.

My oldest nephew is 15 – going on 16 – and he’s in full-on “teen-mode.” He never puts down his phone/iPad, he’s constantly playing Fortnite or watching YouTube videos, his headphones are always in his ears, he’s always texting, he’s always in his room when the entire family is in the living room, and so on.

Essentially, he’s concerned with himself above all else.

We’ve all been there, diving into those teenage years where we start to become engulfed with our personal interests, our lifestyle, and the opposite sex.

But for parents, this teenage phase is often the most difficult phase of parenting. It’s hard getting through to a kid who all of a sudden is too cool for his own parents.

So, how do we deal with the teenage phase when it comes on strong? Below are seven tips on how parents can navigate “teen-mode” when it comes to their young adult:

 

  1. Communication is key
    Sit down and talk. Your teenager might not always want to communicate, but have a serious conversation regarding your expectations for them while living under your roof. And at the same time, even though you are the parent, make sure you are also willing to listen. For example, if your teenager says, “I feel like you don’t trust me,” ask them why and then commit to doing better. As a parent, you have to be willing to adjust. Rigidity rarely gets us anywhere! Also, have the tough conversations. Talk about the temptations that exist in the world. Talk about how to use common sense and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
  2. Incentivize their lifestyle
    When I was in high school, my parents always said to me, “You have one job: do well in school.” If I did well in school, my life was a lot easier. I also had household chores and was an athlete. If I woke up Saturday, handled my chores and did my workout, once again, my life was a lot easier. Make it clear to your teenager that if they handle their business in the classroom and at home, it will earn them more freedom.
  3. Stay in touch with their circle
    Teenagers are prone to be secretive with their lifestyle, including their friend group. As a parent, there are ways to combat this. For example, invite your teenager’s friends to do something fun. Take them bowling, invite them over for dinner, take them to the movies, and so on. Do what you have to in order to keep tabs on your child’s friend group. It’s important to know who your teenager is spending time with.
  4. Keep up with the technology times
    If you don’t have an account on every social media application that your teenager has, get one today. Follow your son/daughter on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. And even if you don’t want to follow them, make sure you know how the applications work, so that you know what your teenager and their friends are capable of within the app.
  5. Maintain your access
    Even if you do not check their phones, have access to them. Know their passcodes, even if you don’t use it. There needs to at least be the illusion that you are watching what they are doing. Also, have some type of protocol on their phones. For instance, make them hand over the phone at a certain time in the evening and return it to them in the morning. They do not need to have the phone all night.
  6. When it’s time, be a friend
    Parents are not supposed to be friends with their kids. Parents are guardians, role models, disciplinarians, teachers, and much more. Still, there is a time and a place to be your child’s friend and confidant, especially when they become a teenager and start to lose that childhood innocence and naivete. If your teenager needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, it’s important that they can look to you and not feel like you will judge them or be too hard on them.
  7. Go to church with your teenager
    Make sure your teen sees that you are invested in your faith and are a strong, God-fearing adult. Lead by example when it comes to faith!

 

Parenting is hard, and there is no professional manual on how to be a great parent. But what is clear is that being involved with your teenager, as they attempt to navigate high school and their formative years, is the most important step.

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10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History

” Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and on her tongue is the law of kindness” – Proverbs 31:25-26

On Westa.org, we celebrate the strength and resilience of women throughout history.  Below is a list of 10 inspiring quotes by great women in history who have surpassed obstacles to emerge untarnished on the other side.  These women paved the way for the next generation to reach for our dreams and to make them come true.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave

 

10 inspiring quotes by great women in history

10 inspiring quotes by women in history: Marie Daly, first African American woman to receive a PhD in Chemistry in the US

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

– Helen Keller,  activist and lecturer; the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

– Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

 

“Courage… it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

-Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

— Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

 

 

“Too often we have bartered away not only the land, but the very air and water. Too often we have sacrificed human values to commercial values under the bright guise of progress. And in our unconcern, we have let a crisis gather which threatens health and even life itself.”

– Claudia “Ladybird” Johnson, former First Lady of the United States; proponent of the Head Start program and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

 

“Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be.”

– Condoleezza Rice,  Former United States Secretary of State

 

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. “
– Michelle Obama, first African American First Lady of the United States

 

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.”

– Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

 

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

 

 

May you be inspired and encouraged to live your life to the fullest by the ancestors that have proved your capability and influence as a child of God.


Hear Nia Allen sing the beautiful hymn, “Holy Spirit”, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

 

Main photo: Oprah, with graduates of The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls,  South Africa. Photo: Benny Gool/Harpo.

 

 

Events

Evangelism Conference

DAY 1
Opening Day Wednesday Luncheon
Crystal Room, 12 – 2p
— Speaker Evangelist Yvonne J. Biggs and introducing Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson, the President of IDOE
— Tickets are $25 and available on the Cathedral Concourse at Table 7A after Services.
— Bishop Hankerson will speak at the Service North Campus Sanctuary.

DAY 2
— Six workshops begins with a “Meet n’ Greet” at 6p in MPB Room 8
— Workshops run from 7 – 8:30p. You must sign up at Table 7A on the Cathedral Concourse after services.

DAY 3
Friday Fellowship Dinner 6:30 – 8p
Crystal Room, 6:30 – 8p
— Tickets $25.00 available on the Cathedral Concourse at Table 7A after Services.

DAY 4
Soul Winners Rally at the Cathedral
11a – 3p
— Keynote Speaker: Elder Lawrence C. Blake, Young Adult Pastor
— There will be Music, Preaching, Singing, Soul Winning, Food, Special Prayer and Healing Service and Vendors .