Self Control: Raising Teenagers

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So, my second son, James, has been learning to drive.  He’s a good driver, but let me tell you…the urge to stomp on the passenger floor for the gas pedal is strong.  EVERY TIME I see the brake lights in front of us.  I’m continually telling James, it’s my problem, not yours.  You’re doing everything right…I just have control issues.

Are you aware of your self control issues? Those teenagers need some self control- that for sure!  

But how are we doing on our own battles of self control as we raise them?

With teens comes so many new things- sports, driving, college, life vision, goals, conflict, bossy behavior, testing limits like never before, tech issues, dating- or not dating…

There are aspects of bliss to our teenage years right now…they are hard workers, and make for great conversations.

Honestly, I love the teen years so far.  They have been kind to us.  But they can also be a challenge.  And they require a different level of self control as a parent to steward them well.

Today we’ll discuss two ways in which I, as a parent, am required to demonstrate self control so that my teens have the opportunity to grow up as wisely as possible.

*I’m not saying I get it all right. But these have been helpful concepts to build the framework around.


Self Control tip number one: Become a coach.

Why a coach?  Because a coach helps someone get clear on the vision they want, helps them figure out the path they want to take to get there, and then reflects back to them how the action they are taking either aligns or doesn’t align with the goals they set- ideally all through questions.  A coach is a space holder.

I want them to choose well, but honestly, insisting that they choose what I choose is not the way to get there.  That time has passed.  Now is the time to advise, let them choose, and then ask them how that choice either did or did not help them towards their goal or intention.

But is this any kind of training you received in how to be a parent? I learn how to discipline, how to be consistent, how to correct, make chore charts, dishes rotations, enforce school, crack down on tablet time…but what about the transitions? How do they go from Mom saying this is the law, to being their own person?

I’m telling you, that’s why I got into coaching. It offered me the skills I needed to help my children transition through the teenage years, maintaining a relationship where they feel safe to talk about things, but also releasing them gradually more and more to make mistakes.

If you want resources on how to do this well, I encourage you to apply for our Fruit Pursuit Mastermind.  You’ll begin to learn skills that you can implement with your kids right now and as they grow. If the program isn’t a good fit for you, then take the first step- learn how to be a great question asker. The self control required for this stage of the game is unbelievable, but oh so worth cultivating!

#2. Mom, you gotta learn to keep your mouth shut.

When we tell our kids that we are releasing them to make a decision on their own, what we are actually saying is that we have decided that the lesson of “making your own choice” is a higher priority in this moment than “Making the right choice” is.

Listen, we aren’t creating robots.  Wisdom is learning to make decisions and then learning to navigate the consequences of those decisions.  Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen without making some dumb decisions- you’ve got to have the self control to let them.

Letting your child fail a class is hard to watch.
Watching them fight the battle of appropriate internet content is challenging.
Letting a teen squirrel around on responsibilities and then having to watch them not be able to participate in an anticipated event is painful.
We’d like to turn away, stick our head in the sand, to completely control or be uninvolved.

Self control…let them fail now.  It feels as though the stakes are so high…but compared to 10 years from now, they are nothing. If they can learn the lesson now…it’s a gift.  Even if they don’t learn the lesson now, it’s a gift that you gave them the opportunity to learn it early.

Our children become accountable to God all on their own.

What one thing will you choose to do today to have self control in how you respond to your children?

And if you’d like more tips, training, and accountability in this area, I encourage you to apply for our Fruit Pursuit Mastermind- just go to – fill out the form and I’ll be in touch to see if the group is a good fit for you.

Get started today learning techniques to maintain genuinely healthy relationships through the teen years, learn how to ask good questions to keep your children accountable, and practice the art of self control as you joyfully watch your child grow in wisdom.  All this and so much more is available in the mastermind. Parenting from a place of joy, peace, and confidence.  I invite you to join us.  Listen, I started learning these tools when my oldest was 10.  I wish I had started when he was 6! Don’t kick this down the road- the benefits of starting now are exponential!

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