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How to raise a healthy happy teen - Part 2: Rebuilding broken relationships

Updated on July 17, 2013

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)

Giving birth to a child is a miracle and blessing from God but it often doesn’t feel that way! The teen years, as rocky as they can be, can also be the perfect time to heal any old hurts and cement the relationship that you have with your child. The good news is that a troubled relationship with your child can turn around with some carefully applied strategies.

Judge not….(Matthew 7:1)

Do you realize how easily we judge people? When that person is your teenage child however, the consequences can be devastating. Nothing feels worse than when someone makes assumptions about your motives or your character that are inaccurate. Teens resent such judgments especially because they have so much of it to deal with from their friends and acquaintances. The last person they need to judge them is you.

Speak the truth…. (Ephesians 4:15)

Being a good role model for your teens is so important but not always easy. Every time we are not perfectly honest with our teen, we run the risk of eroding their respect for us if that lie is ever revealed. It is better to speak the truth at all times in a loving and considerate manner, be honest about who you are and what you have done so that your teen will see you as a model of integrity, and even resilience.

Connecting with Impact

Speak to one another…. (Psalm 5:19)

One of the most discouraging things that your teen may face is the sad reality that every conversation between you is about something they did or didn’t do that you disapprove of. They may feel as if they will never be good enough and that there seems to be nothing about them that is good or admirable. There will always be things that you and your teen have in common or you both enjoy. Talk about those things. Laugh about things that are funny. Even past events that didn’t seem so funny at the time. Enjoy yourself with your teen and help them to see that you are their biggest fan. Nothing can make them want to co-operate with you more than that.

Forgive….. (Matthew 6:14)

Unforgiveness could be regarded as the number one killer of relationships! The loving feelings you once had for your child can change into anger and resentment, growing into bitterness and even hatred. For every hurtful thing done or said to you, there are many that you are also guilty of. Forgiveness wipes someone’s slate clean and gives than a chance to totally turn around. Your teen would never want to change for the better if he/she feels as if they are already condemned. Even if they never change, they are still your children. You still have to try to be the best, most loving parent you can be to them. Don’t push them away.

Forget the former things…. (Isaiah 43:18)

So you have forgiven your teen and even yourself for all the mistakes you have made. Now move on. The past is important to learn from but if you hold on to it, it can hold you and your child back from growing together in your relationship. Every new day is a chance to start over and do things differently and better. Give both yourself and your teen that chance. Make it easy for your teen to succeed.

Re-establish rules and boundaries….. (Ephesians 6:1)

Teens want to know what is right and wrong. They look to their parents primarily for these guidelines, assuming that they will be given wise counsel. If you don’t establish clear rules and boundaries for them they will feel insecure about their choices and will definitely have to learn a lot of unnecessary, hard lessons. As they get older, they deserve to have some input in creating such rules and consequences. This gives them additional confidence and a sense of your regard for them. Re-enforcing those rules can be tiring and frustrating, but the benefits are worth it. Your relationship won’t change overnight. If you take two steps forward and encounter an obstacle, take a step back. When the time is right, don’t be afraid to take a courageous step forward again.

Whoever said that parenting is easy was lying. It is not surprising that trying to mold and shape a unique individual into a good, moral, admirable person must be hard! Think about your journey to the place you are at now? Was it easy? I doubt that. Most of us spend our whole life trying to understand and motivate ourselves! It is important to remember though that it is an honor and a privilege to be a parent and most importantly, it is possible to be a successful parent. Press on!


The text on this page, unless otherwise indicated, is owned by happiness coach (karen mcgibbon) who hereby asserts her copyright on the material. Permission must be granted by the author in writing prior to copy or republish this article in print or online. Thank you.

© karen mcgibbon


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    • happiness coach profile image

      Karen McGibbon 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Great points Denise. I am sure many readers will get meaningful results from these suggestions.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Although my children are now in their twenties and thirties, the thing that I enjoyed most about their teen years was the chance to get to know them as individuals and help channel them into their plans for the future. Doing so helped us have something positive to communicate about and look forward to. I would point out what I thought were their talents, strengths, and abilities, and this helped them to make important decisions about schooling and friends.

    • happiness coach profile image

      Karen McGibbon 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks for the affirmation peachpurple! It just occurred to me while I was writing that we often do the right thing because we should, but the scriptures offer that additional reinforcement that our efforts will be rewarded.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      using the bible verses to communicate with teens are wonderful and tactful ways to bring them closer to the family. Voted up