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Feb 1, 2013

Relating to Your Teens

Diane Kummer

Teaching your teens involves more than covering the subject material.  It also requires relational wisdom!  I recently heard Ken Sande speak.  He is the founder of Peacemaker Ministries and a new organization called Relational Wisdom 360. I learned much from Ken’s remarks that I could use when relating to family members and others.  Since some of his comments were specifically directed to relating to teens, I thought my notes from Ken’s talk would be helpful as you teach your teens at home.  Here are some thoughts and ideas you may want to remember and put into practice – including incorporating movies into your school day!

1.  God commands us to grow in our relational wisdom.

2.  The brain is not completely mature until the mid-20’s and we are not physiologically complete until then.  Some of our teens’ actions are due to immaturity and impulsiveness, not necessarily sin. 

3.  We need to have the wisdom not to judge or condemn, and not to react in anger or pride.

4.  Don’t judge others’ motives – something may be driving them that we don’t know.  Be kind to everyone you meet as they may be fighting a battle you are not aware of.

5.  The “law” is handed down from on high, but “grace” is always given from a humble position.

The Relational Wisdom 360 website offers suggestions for helpful resources for conflict resolution in families. 

Many teens love watching movies. Why not use movies as a teaching tool?  Check out the Relational Wisdom in the Movies section of the website noted above.  You and your teen can watch the demo that provides a clip from Cinderella Man featuring Russell Crowe and use it as the basis for a conversation with your teen on how to relate to others.  Sign up to receive by email other movie clips monthly to discuss with your teens. 

Another resource, Movie Nights: 25 Movies to Spark Spiritual Discussions with Your Teen by Bob Smithouser provides “cautions, story summary, things to do before you watch, Bible bookmarks with related scripture references, talking points, follow-up activity, and ‘just for fun’ information about the film.”

Practicing relational wisdom as you teach your teens will not only help make your teaching more efficient, but it will also result in a more peaceful home, and you and your your teen will gain insights into relating to others!

-Diane

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