Good parenting means intentional parenting. Don’t reduce the influence you have in your adolescent’s life by only reacting to whatever is going on at the moment. Rather, be proactive. Set goals for your children’s progress towards adulthood. Along the way, review how your teenager is doing. Revise and set new goals as appropriate. The ultimate goal, of course, is to help mold your son or daughter into a healthy, well-balanced, functioning, independent adult. Here are some areas of your child’s life and some questions to think about as you consider age-appropriate goals towards their journey towards independence.
Spirituality. Is your adolescent growing in their Christian faith and life?
• What kind of growth are you looking for?
• How can you intentionally be a better role-model of faith to your child?
• How can you help your church / youth ministry as it works to help your child grow in faith?
• What are you doing to help your child grow in their understanding of the Bible?
Education. Is your adolescent giving adequate priority to their school studies?
• What can you do to help you child to develop a hunger for knowledge and a love for learning?
• What attitude do you display towards your child’s schoolwork?
• Seek a balanced attitude towards your child’s education. Don’t stress a greater or lesser priority than it should have.
• How can you help your child make the most out of their education?
Responsibility. Is your teenager developing a mature sense of responsibility?
• Does your child display (more often than not!) obedience to family standards such as morals, values, chores, family participation?
• Does your child demonstrate responsibility in completing school work, volunteer or job positions?
• When your child demonstrates a lack of responsibility, do you have established consequences? Do you enforce the consequences? Does your child avoid responsibility for wrongdoing or irresponsible behavior?
• How can you help your child develop greater responsibility?
Social Skills. Has your adolescent developed healthy, relationships outside of the family? Do they demonstrate good communication (including conversation and listening skills) with others?
• What areas of communication does your child need improvement in?
• How can you help nurture and equip your child with improved communication skills?
• What can you do to encourage healthy relationships between your child and others?
Sexuality. Has your adolescent developed a healthy, Biblically-based sexuality?
• Does your child demonstrate self-control when faced with sexual temptations?
• When was the last time you had a conversation about sexuality with your son or daughter?
• What do you want your child to know and understand about sexuality?
Substance Use and Abuse. Does your adolescent have adequate knowledge of the dangers of drug and alcohol use?
• Is your child equipped to resist the temptations of peer pressure when it comes to substance use?
• Has your child recently been involved in experimentation with drugs or alcohol?
• What tools can you provide your son or daughter to resist the pressure to experiment?
Fun versus Serious. Is your teenager developing a mature sense of balance in regard to lifestyle?
• Does your child demonstrate extremes? Are they either too serious about life or not serious enough?
• What kind of approach to life are you role-modeling for your children?
• When was the last time you initiated a time of family-fun; an outing, a vacation?
• How can you help your child develop a healthy sense of balance in life?