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Advice for Parenting Teens

In September my oldest child was 6, fast forward a month and now our oldest foster child is now 15. That's right, 6 to teenager in just a couple days. After the shock passed, I started seeking advice on parenting a teen. Your responses from Facebook, Twitter and Email have been helpful and humorous:

1. Pray harder!? Don't always assume they are up to something bad.- Shannon

2.
We raised five teenage daughters! PRAY HARDER!!!- Larry

3.
Listen! Keep open communication. Don't be quick to react to what they say. Literally bite your lip if you need to!- Debbie

4.
Be a safe place to come to. My mom was always someone I could go to even if I was in trouble because she always told and showed us that she would be there and love us no matter what we did.- Calli

5.
Run J.D... Run like the wind!!!- Shannon

6.
Speaking from hind site with many mistakes, remember you are a parent and not a friend. Pray hard, Love her enough to disciple when needed and praise her often.- Tammy

7. Clear boundaries with rewards for doing right and consequences for poor decisions. Prayer, patience, be the parent not the pal..... set a godly example 24/7 and she will see your real commitment to Christ. Teens believe what the y see far more than what they hear....-Mark

8. R
emember you were once a teen! and with God all things are possible.- Lorna

9.
Making sure you know who she is with at all times is important. My youngest is 16 and I make a point of discussing her day with her when I get home from work, that way I get to know more about her peers. ;))- Sally

10.
Remember this, you can't love on them TOO much. They may not act like they are enjoying it, but believe me they are.-Kelly

11.
Love, patience, prayer & Jesus Christ! Not necessarily in that order!- Kelly

12.
I have an awesome relationship with my parents...now. I'm 21 but i still agree that if respect would have been there a long time ago things would've been a lot better- Melissa

13.
Once she is settled....Don't be her friend, 15 year old girls desperately need dads! She'll have plenty of friends, she'll only have you for a DAD and that means sticking to your guns when need be and not always being the "good guy".- Lori

Thanks again for all the advice. I'll let you know how this new teenage experience goes.

J.D.