4 Simple Ways to Connect with Your Teens

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I looked at her sitting at the computer, once again, and was ready to bark. “What are you doing there?”

But as my lips parted, the Holy Spirit softened my condemning tone with a more curious approach.

“Sweetheart, watcha looking at?”

“Oh, mom, I’m looking up Andi Andrew.”

How interesting. She wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. What she was doing was operating according to her God-given wiring. She’s a relationship girl. Loves connection. She’s a curious soul that wants to weave puzzles together. She’s a visionary planner and wants to see what might come of something in the future. Of course she wanted to know more about the speakers we heard at The Revolve Tour the day before.

Connect with Teens Yes, she is a unique creation, even thought at times it feels a lot like this apple didn’t even fall off the tree.  It was no surprise that I had already looked up all the speakers, wanting to know more about those who spoke a truth bath {thank you, Christa Black, for that great word and visual} over my soul and influenced my girl’s faith.  My daughter and I...well we are similar. But we are also different.  Sometimes that’s a blessing, and other times it is the cause of our passionately loud clashes.

Our God-giving wiring influences how we hear, listen, learn, and even love. It is the reason we get along great with some people, and can’t do more than five minutes in a room with others.

Knowing the nuances of personalities, spiritual gifts, love languages, and even learning styles, can enable us to approach our relationships -- especially with our children -- with a whole lot more sensitivity.

As the Scriptures encourage us to strive for living in peace with all people (Romans 12:18, 2 Corinthians 13:11), devoting time toward understanding how we are wired is a worthy pursuit.

 

Take Time to Discover Their Wiring

You don’t need to devote endless hours or lots of money toward the pursuit of discovering how God wires us up. There are free online resources {click here for a list with links} and assessments that will help you discover your own wiring -- an essential piece in the connection puzzle -- as well as identify the beautiful way God made your children.

  • Personality Types:  What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they approach the world? What do they enjoy and fear?
  • Spiritual Gifts: How has God wired them to be used in the body of Christ? Are they naturally gifted servants or leaders? Are they bent toward mercy or teaching truth?
  • Love Languages: How do they feel loved and give love? How can I receive their style of love and give it to them in return?
  • Learning Style: Do they learn by seeing, touching or hearing? How is this effecting their schooling and even how they respond to my parenting?

Understanding how the Creator wired your kids -- in ways that may be very similar or entirely different from you -- will radically effect how you connect with them. I encourage you, as a mom whose seen the benefit of taking time to do this research, to make this investment as well.

The time you have with your kids, especially your teens, is precious and moving ever so quickly by!  Growing in your understanding of who they are and how they tick will enable you to affirm them purposefully and thoughtfully. By doing so, you'll give them a leg up as they launch into their own independent lives. May you embrace this opportunity today!

Blessings,

Elisa, More to Be

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.

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