Beth calls you about her son Josh. He’s 16-year old and in rebellion. The patterns of rebellion were a whisper in years past, but they have now grown into a full-fledged storm that is consuming the entire family.
Beth is hurting, confused and desperate. She is also impatient. She wants help and she wants it now. Her husband is not involved in the initial phone call or the ensuing counseling that proceeds from the initial call.
The story above, though fictional, is all-too-often the general process in which a family begins counseling for their teenage son. Over the next few blog posts I want to deal with some of the myths and truths about troubled teens.
Upcoming discussion points
Passive dads - Nearly all troubled teen counseling is initiated by the mom rather than the dad. While most dads work during the day and it is easier for the mom to make the phone call, it typically becomes apparent during the counseling how the dad is passive and the mom is not.
This typically applies to their marriage in addition to their parenting models. Passive or angry dads are two of the biggest factors in teen rebellion.
Collaboration - Biblically speaking, it is a false-continuum to believe the teenage years are years of rebellion. This is a myth. The seeds of rebellion are in the heart of a kid long before he becomes a teen and the collaborating factors of his indwelling sin, plus selfishness on the part of the parents, contribute to what is understood as teen rebellion.
Humility - Almost always the trouble with the troubled teen does not begin with the teen. It is rare for kids to become messed up in 16 short years without help from the parents. At some level, nearly all parents have areas which need to change. Their humility is key to the change process regarding their teen.
Starting point - It is difficult to tell a mom, who you do not know, how part of the problem is with her and her relationship with her husband. There are hardly any exceptions. The parents will need to make some changes too. If the parents will own their negative shaping influences on their child, much good could come from the counseling.
Dear dad - Also, the dad must be engaged in the counseling process. Typically, it is a poor relationship with the dad which is at the core of the teen’s