As parents, we all sit and wonder, “why doesn’t Johnny talk to us anymore?” The impact of society on our teens continually grows and the message society is giving them is that they are in control of their own destiny and the teen has the power to take charge of it. How sad . . . giving a child the mindset that they are mature enough to take control. This is were the communication between parent and child begins to deterioration. God tells us specifically that we are to “learn from the elders” for they hold knowledge that we have yet to take hold of. God has a plan that through communication and through His word, we as Parents can take hold of so much knowledge, in spite of our egos and pride.
So how do we, as parents, repair the bridge of communication with our children? We must first be aware that our child has a personality that may not “conform” to our beliefs of how a child should behave. Communication will not happen if the parent thinks that their way is the only way. It is God’s way that is the only way and until we “let go and let God”, the communication bridge will remain in disarray. Though as parents we hold a vast amount of knowledge regarding much in the world, God wants us to seek Him first so that we can better serve Him. So, we must humble ourselves and “listen” to what the child is displaying, saying, acting. There are many books that can help us as parents to better understand and communicate with today’s teen, both troubled and struggling. Knowledge is the foundation for repairing the bridge, wisdom is knowing that we can always learn more.
At WinGate Wilderness Therapy, the teen is the main focus for the program, but the parent needs to be open to becoming more knowledgeable about today’s teen and humble themselves to the shortcomings that they have been allowing to “rule” their manner of communication. Once humbled before God, the family can then become “restored”.