Make it a priority! Schedule a meeting with your teen that allows plenty of time for your teen to talk openly about any struggles or questions they have regarding life in this culture.
Give your undivided attention. Meet at a time when you and your teen are not too tired. Meet where there will be no noise, no distractions, and no hurrying the conversation.
Begin with prayer. With your teen present, pray for your conversation to be honoring to God. Ask your son or daughter if they would also like to pray before you begin.
Give your teen freedom to share their perspective on any concern without being criticized or punished for it.
Focus on the relationship with your teen more than any difference of opinion on a topic that might cause division.
Fathers do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (Colossians 3:21)
Ask questions in a respectful manner.
Be an other-minded listener. Listen closely to his or her answers with an open mind. Seek first to understand instead of to be understood.
…Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger… (James 1:19)
Respond with gentle instruction, not with harsh words. Rather than giving your opinion, explore together what Scripture says regarding the topic you are discussing.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Reaffirm your love for your teen.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
30-minute free coaching
Do you seek to become a better listener? Are you willing to ask questions of people with opposing views to better understand why they see things differently than you do? Would you like to see argumentative monologues replaced with honest dialogue? If so, we are offering 30 minutes of free coaching on ways to achieve those goals.