BEST TIME TO TALK TO YOUR TEENAGER
Have you ever noticed your teenager having a rough day?
If you have, you’ve probably seen a lot of closed doors and heard “I don’t want to talk about it” countless times.
Don’t worry, it’s not just happening to you, every parent is hearing these responses.
As a Youth Pastor, I get to experience the rough times students go through along with families. There are good times though, like car rides with a group of students. Those are some the best times in I’ve had in student ministry. Whether it’s driving back home from an event, mission trips, retreat bus rides, there is something about travelling together that brings out great conversations.
If I’m being honest, some of the most impactful conversations I’ve had over the years in student ministry has been on those car rides home. It normally starts with this phrase, “How are you doing?”.
4 Reasons Car Rides Are the Best Time to Talk
1. INTIMIDATION FACTOR REMOVED
It’s not easy to have serious conversations face to face, even as adults. It’s needed for certain circumstances, but when your teenager is going through a rough time, confrontation is the last thing they want to have.
The best part about car ride conversation is that your eyes are on the road, so you make it to your destination safely. This works to both parents and teenager’s benefits. Teen’s aren’t worried about getting that dreaded “look” from mom or dad, and parents are able to have a bit more time to listen without any other distractions.
2. GET SPECIFIC
We all get shut down by teenagers after the first “How are you feeling?” with a simple response, “good.” But don’t stop there, “How are you feeling” is only half of your question, get specific with the rest of it;
“How are you feeling with everything going on with COVID19?”
“How are you feeling about everything going on with school? Is it frustrating?”
“How are you feeling with your relationship with God? What can I do to help?”
3. PRACTICE MAKES PURPOSE
Not every car ride is going to be an amazing time of reflection and relationship building, but it is another opportunity to purposely invest into your teenager’s life and faith.
Being intentional about helping your teenager grow in their faith, unload life’s problems or even just praying with them before you go back in the house are foundations you are putting in place for the future.
4. PLANTING PATIENCE
I’m always reminded that parents plant the seeds, the church helps to water & God takes care of the growing. Paul reminds us of this;
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” - 1 Corinthians 3:6
Car rides might be a lot seed planting, but as the seeds start to grow with God’s love, the fruit will be worth it. Keep planting seeds, one day those car rides will be something your teenager secretly looks forward to.
My prayer is the Holy Spirit gives you wisdom to ask questions and invest in your teenager's lives like never before.
Keep giving God your best,
- Pastor Brandon