Sometimes parenting high schoolers feels like navigating unchartered waters: uncomfortable and scary! I remember when my oldest daughter (now in college) wanted to play select volleyball; I had no earthly idea how to go about it. Where do we go? Whom do we trust? I was really out of my comfort zone, but after much trial and error and many phone calls and prayers, we are now seasoned veterans in the area of volleyball tryouts—and those coming behind us even follow our lead. Maybe you are struggling with a house full of rowdy high school boys, wondering how to tame them, or perhaps darker storms are brewing and stirring up your fear. Let me encourage you: You are highly qualified to navigate these waters, even if you don’t feel like it, so do not be afraid!
FEAR NOT – GOD EQUIPS YOU
Sometimes when I am struggling to parent, I become fearful, thinking, “I don’t know what to do here!” But then I stop. “Wait just a minute,” I tell myself. “I have been here before, and I know what to do!” I have spent a lifetime being equipped by my heavenly Father for this very moment! I have experienced (and survived!) all that my teens are facing, from lunchroom drama and peer pressure to hormones and heartbreak, and my unique set of life experiences makes me wise and insightful. God assures us in His Word multiple times that He has equipped us with every good thing for doing His will and leading a godly life. (Hebrews 13:21; 2 Peter 1:3)
Examine your arsenal: What worked for you growing up and what didn’t? What did you want in your time of need? A listening ear, some space? Maybe some firm boundaries, counseling, or prayer? Your circumstances may have been a bit different, but chances are the solutions are similar. You have the answers your child needs, and you are who they need. You are enough!
FEAR NOT – GOD ENCOURAGES YOU
In Hebrews 11 we read about brave people who, through faith, conquered kingdoms, quenched the fury of flames, and were returned from the dead. We are encouraged to run the race set before us with perseverance, keeping those who’ve gone bravely before us as our example and hope. I bet you know a few “heroes of faith” who’ve gone before you, be it your own spouse, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, or teachers. Their influence in your life gives you access to even more parenting resources.
FEAR NOT – GOD EMPOWERS YOU
On top of this deep, rich life experience you possess, the God of the universe is with you and loves you (and your children) more than you can imagine! The Bible reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, that He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, and that when God is with us, no one can stand against us. What good news! Parenting is difficult, and uncomfortable at times, but we are not left to navigate alone. He has given us everything we need.