So, the Raising Up Responsible Teenagers Parenting Seminar by Pastor Clem Guillermo concluded last Saturday, January 31. Since this was a project of me and my husband, we were not able to sit through the entire talk. Despite being occupied with administrative duties that morning, I was able to get as much learning as I can.

Teenagers are most often insecure, unsure of who they are and what they can become. And that is why they are highly sensitive, irritable and easily discouraged. Though I’ve read this adolescent phase in Coby’s Science book in the past, it is only now that I realize the reality of this physiological truth.

Have you ever heard teens say these things?

“I’m a loser!”

“Nobody cares about what I say or think”

“I’m not good enough.”

“I can’t do that.”

They have very low opinions of themselves and don’t believe they can amount to anything. Sadly, parents’ expectations have so much to do with this. Sometimes, we say we love them but they can’t feel it or see it. How we express ourselves or even the words that we use do not communicate love at all. I am guilty of this at times!

Instead on focusing on their negative traits or behavior, we should be looking out for their positive traits. Pastor Clem calls us “talent scouts” for positive behavior. When they show positive behavior, we should be quick to identify it and reinforce that positive trait. Be quick to highlight good attitude rather than focus on the negative trait.

There are times when I allow my emotions take control of our conversations that I say discouraging words to Coby to make him realize his mistakes or make him do better. But then after the seminar, I was made aware that that method will not work at all.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

As talent scouts, we are to be on the lookout not only for positive traits but be willing to be encouragers to our teens. Pastor Clem defines encouragement as a process of focusing on a person’s resources and giving positive recognition in order to build that person’s self-esteem, self-concept and feelings of self-worth.

He also shares some ways we can encourage our teens:

1. We start by giving them responsibilities. Completing simple chores or tasks at home  enables them to be responsible teens.

2. Let’s appreciate the things they do for us. If they helped a younger sibling in a school work or they helped prepare dinner for the family, we recognize their initiative to help out. Let’s catch them doing good and commend them for that.

3. We can also ask for their opinions and include them in family decisions. They will feel important, needed and empowered.

4. Mistakes are part of their growing up years. Let us accept these as learning moments for them. We also show them that we are human by sharing with them our own blunders as teens.

5. They are young and are still learning. We need not rush them into becoming mature and making wise decisions at their age. let’s be patient in guiding them and walking with them in their own journey. Let’s help them welcome the process that they have to go through. Our focus is on the process and not the end goal.

Our soon-to-be teens with Pastor Clem Guillermo
Our soon-to-be teens with Pastor Clem Guillermo

6. Since we are not perfect parents, we don’t expect our teenagers to be perfect also. if we insist that they ace every exam, be the star player in school or be the most popular teen in school, then we are only setting them up to frustration and doubt.

7. We help them reach their potential by being excited about their interests or hobbies. We support them by taking them to practices, cheering them on or simply listening to them without interrupting.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

The learning I got that day helped me a lot in my relationship with Coby. I am hoping that I would be able to apply all these and be an encourager to him. My son is not perfect and neither am I, so why make it hard for him and for me?

How about you Mom, Dad? How do you encourage your teen or tween? Can you share with me so I can also learn from you too? Let’s talk in the comments section, yes?

*Would you like to get updates on Pastor Clem Guillermo’s seminars on Marriage and Parenting? You can get in touch with him at Back to the Bible Philippines. They are at 135 West Ave. Quezon City with Telephone Numbers 372-1772 / 372-1775

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About Author

The love for writing began early in life however the passion slowly ebbed away by the waves of a so-called profession. But after years of changing diapers and pulling teeth, the reluctant writer emerges to live out the gift bestowed upon her by the gracious Father.

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