Teaching Adolescents to Respect God, Self, and Others


Teaching Adolescents to Respect God Self Others Miami Moms Blog

As a seasoned Mom of 5 grown children, I believe that the scariest years of parenthood are 15 to 26 years old.  Character and good judgement matter.  The decisions and experiences of adolescents remain for a lifetime. I’d like to offer some advice from my perspective and years of experience. 

Having raised five kids to adulthood and in light of tremendous societal pressures placed on our adolescent and young adult children I pose the question, “How can we raise our children who are moving into independence to not fall into the pitfalls of high school, college, first job out activities?”  

Graduation night and trips, college beer parties, spiked drinks with drugs, young ladies dropping their guards so as not to be ready to fend off sexual advances.  Not sizing up a party or gathering for their own safety and perhaps choosing to leave or to keep a buddy system is a teen without a plan. Hazing with overdoses of alcohol caused several deaths this year alone.  Many more unwanted sexual advances and rapes have been brought to public attention. 

We have never struggled and prayed harder for our children than when they passed through this age group because of the hidden dangers that can appear suddenly. 

God’s design is that parents can and should be more influential and powerful than church, sex education in school, teachers, friends, and media. Requisite is an open communication and ongoing conversation with your children which should start before age 15. Parents need to be involved in their child’s school activities and social circles. It’s also important to know the parents of your children’s friends, not to mention keep track of their computer time and sites. 

Advising them of their responsibility for their actions is paramount and it will affect their reputation for the rest of their lives.  Being aware that running with those who choose to disrespect others physically and emotionally makes them an accessory to the act and liable for guilt. Don’t let this issue become a white elephant in the room that no one verbalizes.  Folly stands in the doorway and on the corner beckoning to our kids to seek self and pleasure not wisdom and self restraint.

As Christians we taught our children from the Bible, particularly the Proverbs chapters 5, 6, and 7 discussing respect for God, for one’s self, and for the opposite sex. Proverbs 2:7-11 gives basis for trust in God’s principles and the protection that applies when we pay attention to His precepts.

“He holds the victory in store for the upright as a shield to those whose walk is blameless for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.  For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you.”