The survivor’s guide to parenting high school students

You’ve probably seen the signs.

Everything you say is met with that look — you know, the one that says, “That’s so dumb.” If you want to learn what’s going on at school, or just about anything, really, it feels like every word has to be surgically removed. (No, texting isn’t going to help you). They don’t want to show up for family dinner. They’re shutting and/or slamming bedroom doors. And who even knows the chaos that’s lurking in the closet!

Oh the joys and mysteries of teenage life! There’s no magic code to crack, but time-tested wisdom and a faith-filled attitude will help you be a parent when they think they’re the grownup. Our survival guide is here to help!

1. The essential things your student needs to become a healthy adult

Qualifying for a driver's license is not the same thing as adulting. Trust us, you’ll want them to get an early start on this.

2. How to get your teenager talking

Speaking teenager is a skill and an art, but it’s a language every parent can pick up with a little practice. If you avoid this, they may learn to avoid you, and no one wants that, right?

3. How to navigate dating/their first heartbreak

Sure, you want them to focus on their studies, but let’s face it, guys and girls are so much more … interesting. If you lead them through the emotional drama, you’ll win their heart as a parent.

4. How to talk to your teen about saying no to sex

Every teenager is bombarded with messages about sex everywhere they look. If you only tell them not to have sex and stop there, you’re missing an opportunity to explain why God designed sex for marriage — and why that’s best. This message will give you some pointers about how to handle this awkward-but-necessary conversation. Better yet, watch it together and chat about it.

5. How to prevent your kids from losing religion in college

You have no way to control a young adult’s view of God, but you have plenty of ways to shape it — before it’s too late.

6. The sure-fire way to prepare your student to handle money

Ask yourself, would they know what to do with rice and beans? (That is, if they could even find them at the grocery store.) Teaching teens about money (and how to budget) is a better recipe for financial independence than a degree at the University of Hard Knocks.

Have kids of a different age? Check out our other survival guides.

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