No matter how it looks on the surface, every teen is trying to answer questions such as “Who am I?” “What am I going to do with my life?” and “Who will give me the answers I need about life, love, college, finances, sex, and gender identity?” The disregard for moral absolutes and the roller-coaster definitions of truth and falsehood in our culture create a toxic environment through which your teen must find her way mentally and spiritually.
Social media is a significant part of the questions your teen is asking and the answers she is finding. Posting to Snapchat is the first thing most teens do in the morning and often the last thing they do in the evening. Cell phones have become vital appendages.
The reality of social media demands that you understand how it is shaping your teen—and you! Your teen wants and needs an involved, engaged, all-in parent. Even when your teen’s words don’t say it, she needs her parents every day. Even though we often don’t know what our kids are thinking or feeling, we are called to dream big, pray like mad, and never give up hope.
Also remember that no matter how hard you work at being the best mom or dad, your teen is a human being with free will. She can and will mess up—more than once. Satan doesn’t base his disdain for your child on whether she makes the honor roll or does meth. He hates young people who are conscientious, responsible, and compassionate just as much as he hates teens who are bullies, refuse to accept responsibility, and remain on probation after breaking the law. Satan wants every teen, including your teen, to fail.
That’s why I challenge you to surrender your will, your wants, your theories, and your priorities to God every day. Ask Him to lead every area of your life. God could have chosen anyone to be the parent of your teen. But He didn’t choose just anyone; He chose you!
God, my first step in parenting [teen’s name] is for me to know You more, spend time in Your Word, and be in prayer for my family. I ask that you lead every area of my life so that [teen’s name] will see the joy and peace You alone can bring. Amen.