Just Let It Go: Picking Your Battles with Teenagers

This is written by Jonathan McKee of TheSource4Parents.com

One of my daughters walked into the kitchen to find something to eat.

"I bought some of those rolls you like for your sandwiches." I offered.

"Why would I want a sugary roll for my sandwich?"

This is how many conversations can begin with my teenagers. They aren't defiant; they probably couldn't even be classified as back talking. They're just...argumentative.

"The sky sure is a pretty blue today."

"Actually, it's more of a purple."

Sigh.

That's what it felt like in the kitchen that day with my daughter.

"I thought you told me you'd like some rolls? These are those really good Hawaiian rolls." I offered.

She picked up the rolls and inspected them with disdain. "These are too many calories."

She didn't know what she was talking about. I had to decide whether to let it go, or jump into lawyer mode and show evidence to the contrary. I opted for lawyer mode.

"Actually, those are lower calories than two pieces of the bread. And they taste better.

She looks at the rolls again. "Yeah, but these are too small. Why would I want a sandwich that small?" She chuckled condescendingly.

Now I was mad. Just yesterday she told me she didn't want such large portions. She didn't make sense. She was arguing just to argue.

And that's when I realized I needed to just shut up and let it go. She wasn't arguing that she didn't want my bread. What she wanted was independence. She wanted to choose her food without anyone telling her what she should eat. My suggestion for bread was received as, "Eat a sandwich." Her retorts were saying, "I'll eat whatever the heck I want. I'm a big girl. Leave me alone."

It's hard raising older teens. They constantly are vying for independence.

Funny, I give my girls plenty of independence. But even 'sandwich selections' can be received as micromanagement.

Now that I have a senior in high school and two kids off in college, I'm finding it increasingly important to give them opportunities to make choices on their own. More importantly, I'm discovering it equally imperative to stop "sweating the small stuff." My daughter's snippety little banters aren't an all out rebellion... they're a reminder for space.

My friend recently asked me, "Jonathan, I've asked my daughter 13 times to put away her towels after she showers. We found like a dozen towels in the corner of her room yesterday because she refused to put them away. What should we do?"

As I heard this question, I couldn't help but put it in perspective. We had one of our kids really rebel growing up. So the first question I asked my friend was:
"Is she sneaking out of the house? Flunking algebra?"

"No. No. She's getting over a 4.0"

"Is she smoking pot in her room?"

He laughed and said, "No."

I smiled. "Then tell her since she likes to collect towels, it's time for her to do her own laundry. Show her once, and then let it go."
Five years ago I wouldn't have given that advice. But now that I've seen two of my kids go off to school and begin making choices on their own, I have grown increasingly confident I should have "let it go" more often, and given them both even more opportunities to learn lessons on their own.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not saying, "Allow your kids to disobey and talk smack."

If you tell your kid to put their towel away and they don't, then warn them, and if they keep doing it, find a natural consequence where they can learn that lesson themselves. But don't ground them for a week for a towel.

In the same way, if your kids are rude, feel free to tell them, "Hey, I don't mind if you want to make your own lunch. But don't be rude to me. I was trying to be nice and buy you the bread you liked." Correct their rudeness... and let it go. They'll respect you more for not dwelling on it.

Raising kids isn't easy. Raising young men and women is even harder. But try to remember how hard it is being that age. Today's teenagers are currently the most stressed age group. They're balancing a huge load, they're worried about the future... all this with raging hormones and an undeveloped brain.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Be happy when they want to make their own decisions, and be there for them when they need your help. In just a few years, they'll be making all their decisions on their own. Are you preparing them for that day?

King Soopers Program

This is a great way to "passively" raise funds for Youth Group trips, camps, and events.

WHAT IT IS:
King Soopers Reloadable Gift Card Fundraising Program

WHY PARTICIPATE:
Did you know that a family of four spends approximately $770.00 per month on groceries and $280.00 on gasoline? With a re-loadable King Soopers Gift Card, that amount of spending could equal a monthly donation of $52.50 toward payment for your son or daughter to attend a Student Ministry camp, retreat, or event. How so?

Each time you load (add money to) your gift card, King Soopers donates 5% of the added value to our youth group. We'll track the donation in your name and will credit the donation toward the cost of a future camp, retreat, or student ministry event. What a win! 

HOW IT WORKS:

  1. Purchase a $5.00 re-loadable gift card from our Youth Group and the card will automatically be pre-loaded with $5.00, offsetting your initial cost for the card.
     
  2. Then, before you check out with your groceries, load the gift card at the register so that you can use it to pay for your groceries and gas. It’s that simple!
     
  3. If you have not yet purchased a gift card, or would like to learn more about the King Soopers re-loadable gift card, please contact Deanna Griffiths at dgriffiths96@aol.com. She will be able to provide you with your re-loadable gift card and can answer any questions that you may have.

High School Serving Opportunity: Sports Camp

Sports Camp with Restoration Outreach

We have an opportunity to Love Where We Live by serving as leaders for Sports Camp with Restoration Outreach. This is a fantastic opportunity for high school students to make a difference, build relationships, and have fun.

Here are the specifics:

WHO:
Any student entering grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

WHAT:
Students will serve as small group leaders and guides for elementary students as they participate in games and activities.

WHEN:
June 12-16, 2017
7:30am-4:30pm each day

WHERE:
Meet at The Solomon Center. We will provide transportation to Restoration Outreach and then back to The Solomon Center.

OTHER DETAILS:

  • Lunch is provided
  • Please wear close-toed shoes
  • There is no cost for students to participate in this event

CONTACT: 
Josh McBride via email at:
Joshua.McBride@southeastcc.org

Reading Guide: Permission Slip Week 2

We have a Reading Guide to accompany the Wednesday Night Teachings. Checkout the Message Archive for more resources on these teachings.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC

The main idea: When tempted by sin, move to God

DO THIS FIRST
Read James 1:13-18

THINK ABOUT IT
Earlier in the chapter, we learned that God uses trials to help us grow. But here James is talking about temptation. What’s the difference?

Why is it important that we NOT blame our temptation on God?  

Why do you think James suddenly starts talking about “every good and perfect gift” in verse 17, after talking about evil desires? Is he just changing the subject (which he does sometimes), or is there a connection?

The book of James emphasizes the active side of our faith, so let’s go for it.

Select one of these ways to put faith into action this week:

Memorization:
Learn 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:15–16; Matthew 26:41; Psalm 51:10; and/or another verse that applies to a particular temptation you struggle with.

Journaling:
Write about your temptations and how you respond, but also about the joys you experience when you resist temptation. How does your relationship with God grow and soar when you trust Him?

Prayer:
Think about others you know who are being tempted. Pray that God will strengthen them. But don’t let these be proud prayers—“watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Include The Lord’s Prayer in this devotional time, with special focus on “Lead us not into temptation.”

Accountability:
Look for others you can share your struggles with. Can you arrange to meet with them every week or two, and let them know how you’re doing? Fighting temptation can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be. When you know there’s someone else holding you accountable, it might give you additional strength.

Joining or Volunteering:
Our culture is full of temptations, and there are many whose lives have been ravaged by greed, lust, pride, or addictions of various sorts. There are also ministries that help those strugglers. Is there one you could connect with—as a volunteer, donor, or fellow struggler?

 

 

ME. MY #SELFIE. AND I. [WEEK 3]

This information is to help you keep in touch with Wednesday night teachings at youth group.

CURRENT TEACHING SERIES

Me. My #Selfie. And I.

We are going to answer the question, "What on earth am I here for?"

WEEK 3 DETAILS

Sermon in a Sentence: I am here to be like Jesus.

Scripture: Matthew 1:20-21, Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 28:18-20

Ask a question: Who is someone you can share Jesus with?

LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE

ME. MY #SELFIE. AND I. [WEEK 2]

This information is to help you keep in touch with Wednesday night teachings at youth group.

CURRENT TEACHING SERIES

Me. My #Selfie. And I.

We are going to answer the question, "What on earth am I here for?"

WEEK 2 DETAILS

Sermon in a Sentence: I am here to serve.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10

Ask a question: What can you do to create value in someone's life?

LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE

Technical difficulties prevented us from recording this week's message.

Video Games, Facebook, & Grades

A new Australian study suggests that players of online video games may do better in school, but those who frequent Facebook or chat sites are more likely to struggle scholastically.

"When you play online games you're solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in math, reading and science that you've been taught during the day," said study author Alberto Posso, an associate professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at Australia's RMIT University.

"Students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in math and 17 points above the average in science," he said. But those who used Facebook or chatted online every day scored 20 points lower in math than students who did not.

The study identified a correlation, but not a cause-and-effect link, between these online habits and academic performance.

[cbsnews.com, 8/9/16]

Me. My #Selfie. And I. [Week 1]

This information is to help you keep in touch with Wednesday night teachings at youth group.

CURRENT TEACHING SERIES

Me. My #Selfie. And I.

We are going to answer the question, "What on earth am I here for?"

WEEK 1 DETAILS

Sermon in a Sentence: I am here to belong.

Scripture: Hebrews 2:11, Ephesians 2:19-22

Ask a question: When is a time when you feel like you really belong?

LISTEN TO THE MESSAGE