Skip To Main Content

Answers to 4 Top Questions About Parenting Your Teen or Tween

Answers to 4 Top Questions About Parenting Your Teen or Tween

What is the scariest age to parent – baby, toddler or teen? Many would answer, the teenage years! Janet Harrison and Shannon Owen eased some fears with their Parenting with Purpose session: Parenting Your Teen or Tween.

“When we can step back and see behavior from a normal developmental perspective, it helps us relax a little bit,” said Janet. Using a realistic analogy, Shannon compared the teenage years to getting a “software update” in our brains. Guess which area updates first? The emotional center updates before the rational center of the brain, and this can definitely explain the rollercoaster of teenage emotions!

Janet Harrison answers a few of our top questions about parenting teens.

Q: What is the most important thing to remember about this developmental stage?
The core question our kids have at this stage is, “Who am I?” Adolescents are dealing with major social, emotional and cognitive changes. Much of what challenges us as parents is both normal and temporary. 

Q: As parents, how can we focus on character, not just behavior?  
Discipline is an important part of parenting. However, when discipline is viewed as discipleship, then we are able to use those teachable moments to instill values and build Christ-like character in our children as well. 

Q: If parents of teenagers could take away one thing, what would it be?
Passions are what our teens do but values, specifically values rooted in who Jesus is, are who are teens are. 

Q: What are your top tips for communicating with your teen or tween?

  • Listen without judgment: show unconditional love, acceptance and support.
  • Ask questions and be curious.
  • Validate feelings.
  • Take advantage of natural discussion opportunities.
  • Communicate clear expectations and boundaries and consequences.

Thank you, Janet and Shannon, for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. Join us for our next Parenting with Purpose session, Crime Stoppers: Cyber Safety, Social Media and Gaming.

Additional resources:

The Worry Free Parent 
Sissy Goff, LPC-MHSP

The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable and Compassionate Adolescents
Lisa DaMour, Ph.D.

Modern Parents Vintage Values: Instilling Character in Today’s Kids
Sissy Goff & Melissa Trevathan

Planet Middle School
Dr. Kevin Leman

Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter
Kari Kampakis