Ask the average parent with a young adult at home if they enjoy their teen, and probably the answer is ‘NO!’  Well, in our home, we not only like our teens, we appreciate them as young adults.

We have home schooled our kids for 17+ years, ever since my 25 y.o. son decided he never wanted to go back to school in 2nd grade (that’s another blog post!).  The decision to home school caused our kids to turn out completely different than the direction government, private, or Christian school would have taken them.  Besides each of them being our brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, we actually are intruiged by our young adults interests and talents, have engaging conversations with them, and enjoy their company during mealtime, board games, or late night laugh sessions.  Life is not always perfect, but they are in the select group we CHOOSE to be involved with every day of our lives.

This is why I can write a post on ‘not YELLING at young adults’…okay, I can write about it, but don’t hold me to it at ALL times!

Yelling is what happens when nothing else has worked to get someone’s attention.  It is also a way to vent frustration.  Sometimes, it actually works to achieve the desired outcome, but afterward there is a heavy price to pay.  The point being, all teens, especially adopted with birth dads or grandmas or foster parents that yelled, will not take a liking to being yelled at.  Therefore, they will not respect the parent who yells, or hear anything communicated during the yelling match.  They will freeze, fight, or flee.  That is not the desired outcome.

So, what motivates young adults?  What motivates parents?  Money, friends, free time, new possesions, opportunity, compliments, polite requests, rewards for work well done, travel, special time with Mom or Dad?  These motivate me!  Of course there are trade-offs, and we all  must work within the limits of available resources.  Parents and teens can brainstorm solutions that are win/win, stick to what is agreed upon, or suffer the agreed upon consequences for not.  It takes time, patience, biting your tongue, unfolding your fist, and being on your knees in prayer.

Having a positive, productive relationship with your teen, works.  Being on their team as coach and cheerleader, mentoring them, discipling them, talking to them about their dreams and sharing yours, setting reasonable boundaries together, all these build relationship and secure bonding.  Teens need the confidence that comes with parents who show affection, concern, interest, and spend time.   Maybe things won’t get better overnight, but in the long haul there will be results.  Find out what your teen wants out of life, and out of their relationship with you, then move in that direction.  

In just a few short years they will be on their own, ready to accept what the Lord has for them. If you don’t help them fly, they’ll be back in the nest!  I think I’d rather be more patient and avoid yelling now…