Monthly Archives: November 2017

‘Teach Our Children To Love Their Bodies, Not Take Drugs To Change Them’

Children should be encouraged to “love the bodies they have”, rather than try to medically alter them, an MP has warned.

David Davies issued the caution in a riposte to Parliamentary support for making it easier to ‘change sex’.

He has also challenged the Prime Minister to tighten transsexualism law after a doctor in his constituency reportedly prescribed powerful cross-sex hormones to children.

Davies was speaking out against the Women and Equalities Committee’s call for ‘self-declaration’ of gender, which has been given Government support.

But the MP for Monmouth said such a move would lead to commonplace “invasions of privacy” in toilets and changing rooms.

Adding, “any attempt to question this could well end up being seen as an infringement of human rights, and a hate crime as well”.

 

The Risk Of Taking Children To Unreached Peoples

Should a Christian couple take their children into danger as part of their mission to take the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world? Short answer: Yes.

Why? Because the cause is worth the risk, and the children are more likely to become Christ-exalting, comfort-renouncing, misery-lessening exiles and sojourners in this way than by being protected from risk in the safety of this world.

Provide for Their Greatest Good

When Paul said that “anyone [who] does not provide for . . . his household has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8), he was talking about world-idolizing slackers, not self-denying emissaries of Christ. But even that observation is not the main point.

“Perhaps we lose too many of our children because they weren’t trained as soldiers.”

The question raised by this text, and many others, is this: What is the greatest good you can do for your children? What does a real, countercultural, Christian ambassador and exile from heaven think when he is told, “Provide for your household”? Provide what? Culture-conforming comforts and security? Really?

I don’t think so. He is thinking, How can I breed a radical, risk-taking envoy of King Jesus? How can I raise a dolphin cutting through schools of sharks, rather than a bloated jellyfish floating with the plankton into the mouth of the whale called the world? How can I raise offspring who hear Jesus say, “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58) and respond, “Let’s go”?

“Discipline of the Lord”

By all means, provide for your household. But what are we to provide? Paul says, “The discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Where might they taste the Lord’s discipline? Why should we think only in terms of spankings, time-outs, and family devotions? Why not the challenges and hardships implied in Hebrews 12:3–11?

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:3–4)

Not yet! “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons” (Hebrews 12:7).

Train Up a Child

Or when you think about “providing for your household,” what about providing practice in self-denial and risk? After all, doesn’t Proverbs say, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)? Perhaps we lose too many of our children because they weren’t trained as soldiers. Maybe we trained them in comfort and security, and now they won’t leave it.

“Wasting your life is worse than losing it.”

Or what about providing for the young ones the way Deuteronomy 11:19 says? Teach them the wartime manual of life when you are walking among the hostile hearers, and when you lie down under the mosquito nets, and when you rise in the 95-degree heat. Come, my precious children, learn from mommy and daddy what it means to live with joy in the service of the King.

No matter how many Western, comfort-assuming, security-demanding, risk-avoiding Christians think otherwise, the truth is that there are worse risks for our children than death. This is simple Bible-reality. Not easy. Just simple. It is not complex or hard to grasp. There are things vastly worse than death. Wasting your life is worse than losing it.

Great Struggles Produce Great Citizens

One of the great ironies of history is that sometimes non-Christians see more clearly than Christians that the aims of family life are greater than safety. John Adams, who would become the second President of the United States, was sent as a Commissioner to France in 1778. His 10-year-old son, John Quincy (who would become the sixth President), went with him. Abigail, John Quincy’s mother, was totally behind this venture.

Here is David McCullough’s description of the mind-set behind this way of parenting. The boy would be away from his mother and his home for most of the next seven years. McCullough describes what this meant:

The boy was being taken across the North Atlantic in the midst of winter, in the midst of war. Just outside Boston Harbor, British ships were waiting to capture somebody like John Adams and take him to London, where most likely he would be hanged as a traitor. But the boy went, too, his mother knowing that she probably wouldn’t see him for a year or more, maybe never.

Why? Because she and his father wanted John Quincy to be in association with Franklin and the great political philosophers of France, to learn to speak French, to travel in Europe, to be able to soak it all up. And they risked his life for that — for his education. . . .

It was a horrendous voyage. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. And when the boy came back, he said he didn’t ever want to go across the Atlantic again as long as he lived. And then his father was called back, and his mother said you’re going back. And here is what she wrote to him. And please keep in mind this is being written to an 11-year-old boy and listen to how different it is from how we talk to our children in our time. It’s as if she were addressing a grown-up. She’s talking to someone they want to bring along quickly because there’s work to do and survival is essential:

These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.

Well, of course he went, and the history of our country is different because of it. John Quincy Adams, in my view, was the most superbly educated and maybe the most brilliant human being who ever occupied the executive office. (American Spirit, 115–116)

“They risked his life for that — for his education.” To be with Franklin. To be with the French philosophers. To be at the heart of the great doings of the day! Because, in their mind, that is what life is for. A life not given to great things is not worth living. So, risk your life — and the life of your children — to be part of greatness.

Made for More

“We are not about establishing a mere country—like America. We are about serving the King who is over all countries.”

But ours is not the same calling. Ours is infinitely greater. We are not about establishing a mere country — like America. We are about serving the King who is over all countries. We are not about building a temporary, fallible, historical nation, but an eternal people — “a holy nation, a people for [God’s] own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). We are not about rescuing people from earthly tyranny, but from totalitarian oppression and suffering in hell forever. We are not about maximal education in the ways of this world, but maximum insight and involvement into the saving paths and power of God. Our aim for our children is not historical influence, but eternal impact.

If John and Abigail Adams thought that their comparatively small aims for their children were worth the risk of death, are not our aims worth just as much risk?

But we have more reason to risk. We have a promise: If God is for us, no one can be successfully against us (Romans 8:31). If they take our lives, our spouses, and our children, they cannot succeed. In all these things, we are more than conquerors. How better can we show our children this truth than to take them with us to the nations?

 

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Reading the Bible Supernaturally.

What Is God’s Take On Divorce?

On many occasions during Jesus’ ministry years the religious leaders asked him questions to test, trap and trip Him up.  They failed every time of course!  One such instance was written down by Jesus’ disciple Matthew (Matt 19:1-15 NIV) when they asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

This question is basically asking Jesus which one of the two rabbinical schools of the day He personally agreed with: The school of Shammai taught divorce was only allowed if one’s spouse was unfaithful, and the school of Hillel inferred a man could divorce his wife if she burnt the toast or as another Rabbi added, “if you find someone more attractive.”  Even though people publicly supported the Shammai school of thought, the Hillel school was closer to what was general practice in society – much as it is today!

Jesus answered by appealing to God’s original purpose in marriage:

“At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matt 19:4-6 NIV).

The religious leaders responded by quoting Scripture back at Jesus:

“Why then … did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” (Matt 19:7 NIV)

They were quoting from Deuteronomy 24:1-4, “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled …” (NIV).

We read this sort of thing in the Bible today and are horrified by the implications, but three thousand plus years ago women were considered little more than goods and chattels.  Society was extremely patriarchal (as it still is in some countries and cultures today).  This poor woman, written about in Deuteronomy 24, is simply dismissed by her husband with a certificate of divorce and expelled from the family home.  If she has no other family to live with, she’d be homeless.  There were no social security benefits and many of these women would be forced into prostitution or begging in order to survive.  If she got lucky and another man took her for his wife then she’d be looked after, but if “her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled …” – that could only have been written by a bloke!

It’s this patriarchal boys club that Jesus challenges head-on in Matthew 19:8, ‘Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”’

Notice how Jesus’ statements are directed at the men and are aimed at protecting the rights of women.  When Moses wrote Deuteronomy he was writing in context of his culture, but Jesus contests that culture and in so doing he advances and protects the rights of women.

Author Ken Wilson writes about Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 this way: “It’s God’s original intention, in general, for people who marry to stay married for life. But that doesn’t mean that people who are trapped in deeply harmful marriages must either remain married, or remain single after divorce. I’ve determined, by my pastoral practice, that it is legitimate to regard the text as descriptive, as generally normative, not prescriptive – that is, not prescribing what must happen in every case.”

It should also be noted that Jesus is probably using hyperbole here; that is, exaggerating a point in order to get across a powerful truth.  In this case, the truth is that neither marriage nor divorce should ever be entered into lightly or unadvisedly, but prayerfully and with the counsel of wise people.

That being said, since the Second World War the divorce rate has increased dramatically.  The church has wrestled with the issues of separation, divorce, single-again and remarriage for decades – and has not always dealt with them well.  Many people have been hurt and excluded by the church when it has upheld a wrong understanding of Scripture, grace, forgiveness and second chances.  I’m glad that, by and large, we have reconciled these issues and more importantly, we no longer exclude those who for whatever reason, find themselves separated, divorced and/or remarried.  As for Bayside Church, if this describes you I want you to know that you are more than welcome in our community.  Jesus loves and accepts you and so do we.

 

Rob Buckingham is the senior minister of Bayside Church, Melbourne Australia

What’s The Big Problem With Marriage?

In the book, Sacred Thirst, the author writes, “The bride and groom are standing in front of everyone, looking better than they are ever going to look again, getting so much attention and affirmation. Everybody even stands when they walk in so it’s easy to think this marriage, at least, is about them. It’s not. Just look at the worn-out parents sitting in the first pew—they understand this. The only reason these parents are still married is because long ago they learned how to handle the hurt they caused each other. They know that the last thing you ever want to do with hurt is to let it define you.”

This last statement offers one of the most profound points that I’ve read on brokenness. Those who do not allow hurt to entrap them can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but those shackled by past pain are truly imprisoned by it – this is the big problem in marriage today – the walls we build to protect may eventually imprison.

How can we undo the emotional pain that we experience? First, we must understand that our mind is where battles are either won or lost. Those who do not forgive or release bitterness, anger, and hurt, never experience freedom, happiness, or ‘true’ restoration. It all starts here.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says to “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Simply stated, if you fail to forgive, bitterness and anger, though skillfully masked, can and will tarnish relationships.

Regardless of what you have endured, God can deliver you from the emotional scars and feelings of abandonment, and break the walls that imprison. Married, divorced, separated, or single, God can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but it is imperative that your mind is renewed by applying biblical principles, beginning with forgiveness.

Those who have walked in true forgiveness know that God restores. It’s been well stated that life makes us bitter or it makes us better—the choice is ours. God can deliver those broken by a failed marriage, but in order for change to occur on the outside (i.e., remarriage or restoration) it first must occur on the inside. Strongholds include bitterness, pride, lust, selfishness, substance abuse, toxic relationships, anger, and physical abuse, to name a few. These destructive influences hinder the healing and rebuilding process. Healing begins with a commitment to work on those areas known to be detrimental to your spiritual health and the health of the relationship.

It’s little wonder that many go through life changing partners, careers, or residency searching for someone or something that can never be found apart from the wholeness that a personal relationship with Christ brings. If this is you, I encourage you to stop wandering from relationship to relationship and allow God to rebuild and restore: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Do you desire peace and joy again? Simply return to God: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Full surrender provides fertile ground for joy and peace.

If you’re like me, you may realize that many years of ‘wandering’ could have been avoided. Many, no doubt, had direction for their marriage, but because of selfishness, disobedience, disregard, or a deaf ear to God’s direction, it ended in divorce…but God can rebuild and redeem your life.

Don’t allow past brokenness to cause future pain. Regret and failure will linger as long as we let them. Scripture is very clear: We are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead. You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can change where you’re going.

I learned that shepherds, from time to time, broke the leg of a lamb that continually wandered from the flock and, thus, the shepherd’s protection. The shepherd would then splint the broken leg and carry the lamb on his shoulders for weeks until the leg healed. As painful as this was for the lamb, it was necessary to protect it from being ravished by wolves or other predators. In time, through the broken and dependent relationship, the lamb learned to walk and to remain in the protective presence of his shepherd. This concept was well stated by David in Psalms 51:8, “That the bones You have broken may rejoice.” And Isaiah reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (53:6). Ironically, many thank the Lord for using their divorce to bring them back to the Good Shepherd

What will it take to bring you back? A deliberate decision to stay close to the Him can avoid unneeded pain and provide safety and protection; it’s the first step in the rebuilding process.

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. He recently released his 7th book, Desperate for More of God. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/confusedchurch.

Try This One Thing to Keep Your Family Close

I am not a parenting expert, and really I rely on God as to the steps I need to take with my children on a daily basis to help them grow into all they can be. But there is one thing that my wife and I have done since our children were little, and we still do to this day.

That is, we ensure we eat dinner together every night. As long as we are both at home and not traveling, then this is a non-negotiable for us. That means finishing work, getting off that phone call, away from the computer and never-ending emails (us, not the kids). There is something special about coming together over a meal. Our children are still only fairly young (7, 9 and 12), but this is something we have done since they were basically babies. And we do it every night.

As part of this we set the table, including having drinks poured, so that we are not eating and then disappearing. For a 10-20 minute period, we are all still completely connected. There is no TV, no homework, no phone calls, and no distractions. Just the five of us together, talking openly.

Each day we ask each of our children what was their ‘best day’? This gives each of them a turn to tell us about their day: all the good that happened, including things that might not be so good. Each of them has ‘the floor’, so the rest of us is to listen while just one person speaks. The kids also hear about mine and my wife’s days so that they understand that what happens in our days is also important. However they cannot understand why our days are not as exciting as theirs…

We want our children to know that what happens in their day matters to us, but it also means that we can stay abreast of what they are telling us. We can pick up on any trends in their discussion so we know if there is anything we need to be concerned about. And if there are issues, it gives us the chance to discuss them, offering some parental wisdom on the situation at hand.

I know our kids are only young, and many reading this will have older children, but it is never too late to start. Just taking time to eat together and talk, in an age where technology is simply taking over, is a simple key to keeping your family connected. Even if your kids don’t live at home anymore, you can invite them around to dinner one night each week or fortnight, where you get the chance to connect.

I really believe the dinner table is a simple way of making family happen. You have to eat anyway, so it’s also pretty easy to coordinate. By showing genuine interest in the lives of your children, you will not only stay connected as a family, but you’ll also create a stronger family unit.

Matt Danswan is the CEO of Initiate Media, publishers of My Christian Daily. He also blogs at www.mattdanswan.com.

Dear Mrs. Hall And Mrs.Woolsey…

The last few days have been all abuzz with a post from Mrs. Hall, a concerned mother upset about what her young teen boys were viewing on social media. Her approach is zero tolerance and censorship of any half-dressed girls.

Good for you. Your house, your children, your rules.

Then another mother, Mrs. Woolsey chimes in with a rebuttal, chastising the harsh penalty and making mention of the hypocritical semi-nude pictures of the Hall boys in the same post.

Good for you. You’re standing up for the young girls and encouraging second chances and grace.

I have a slightly different issue, but first let me say this; Mrs. Hall should be applauded for instilling communication and interaction between herself and her kids. Fostering an atmosphere of openness is key in addressing issues and she is clearly determined to do her job as a parent and protect her kids.

As for Mrs. Woolsey, she too loves her children but believes we need to pour grace on the young girls and is ready to offer forgiveness. She doesn’t say whether or not she would encourage or demand her young boys to ‘unfriend’ a young girl who continually posts inappropriate photos, but I do get the impression that common sense would come into play and that she would protect her sons as well.

But, as I read both of these opinions, I started to cry.

Yes, cry.

What about the hearts of these girls? The ones who pose and post sexually provocative photos on social media . . . who will address the big elephant in the room?

The why.

Ten years ago we blamed Britney Spears for leading our young girls down the sleazy fashion path, encouraging tweens to dress way beyond their years. Then it was toddler beauty pageants and Honey Boo-boo who was targeted for encouraging the sexualizing of children. Just last week, Miley Cyrus’s behavior had parents jumping up to cover the eyes of both their sons and their daughters. Yes, Hollywood does impact and influence our kids, but I don’t believe we can just blame T.V. and shut it off. (Although we did years ago and I highly recommend it).

So, what was it then that had me in tears this morning? I cried for the girls who Mrs. Hall accused of lacking modesty. Yes, to be sure, some girls are absolutely modeling pop culture examples, but a lot of these young girls are just acting out what they’ve lived.

Their selfies that are meant to capture attention and get ‘likes’ usually have their eyes looking right into the camera. Their eyes haunt me. I see myself as a teen:

Notice me, like me, use me . . . but ultimately rescue me. I will let you do whatever you want and give you whatever you demand as long as it will result in you ‘loving’ me for even just one more day. I know that you will probably leave—they all do, but for now, come see me. Something inside of me grows with each hungry look. Every rude, vulgar comment that I pretend to be disgusted with actually just validates and feeds the beast within. The lie that was planted in my heart so many years ago . . . the first time he touched me . . .

That I am worthless.

Used.

A throw away.

I want to be different, to stop feeling this way, but I am addicted and harassed to no end by these crazy, inexplicable desires. I crave this attention. I need to somehow heal the hurt that happened to me as a child. But this drug of touch that I hope will result in finding someone to protect me for life, only perpetuates my brokenness. On one hand my sexuality empowers me but at the same time I am a slave to it. It was awakened far too early and I don’t know how to put it to rest.

Birthed with the loss of my innocence, this cycle of dysfunction is spiraling out of control. Now by my own ‘choice’. But did I ever really have a choice?

Don’t judge me because I am a ‘floozy’ or a ‘hooch’ . . . or the other hurtful names you call me. I don’t show any discretion or dignity because I was robbed of it before I could understand it was mine to defend and to cherish.

Find me. Love me. Help me. Kill this beast within.

Until I find true healing, I will continue on this self-depreciating and destructive path . . . .

Studies show that somewhere between twenty-five to fifty percent of women have been sexually abused in their childhood. And those numbers reflect only those who report it. Many don’t.[i] My abuse started at such a young age, my first childhood recollection was one of shame. It continued for over a decade. Once the darkness was brought into the light, the abuse stopped but the damage and resulting behaviors and beliefs continued. Such was life in the seventies. Shhhhh. Don’t tell. Move on.

It wasn’t until adulthood that I finally got the proper counseling I needed and the beast of abuse was slayed.

So you see mothers, do stay involved in your children’s lives and shield them while you can, but please, please don’t put up walls of protection so high that you can’t see the hurting young children on the other side. Look beyond the skimpy outfits and behaviors of some of these half-dressed girls and instead of shunning them, love them. Accept them. Pray for them. Give them a chance to know a warm, loving healthy woman who can model the virtues they so lack.

And for those of you who like me were hurt and the beast still lurks within, I encourage you to check out Healing Hearts, an amazing online or small group study that will help you to find truth and healing. For teen girls there is a brand new study as well, First Love.

Check it out and reach out. It’s all well and good to protect our own children, but we can’t forget about the others out there who need us too.

This article first appeared on Christian Woman

Lori Dixon ~ Writer/Speaker/Servant of Christ. Lori is working on a book that addresses the conflicts that sometimes occur between ‘church ladies’. You may also follow her ramblings which vary from humorous to hard hitting at www.LovingKindnessMinistries.ca

This is how you deal with an entitled teen

Given 963 million people go to bed hungry every night and 150 million children between the ages of under 14 years old are engaged in child labour worldwide we can safely say that our teens lives aren’t that bad. “Try convincing my daughter of that!” one mum recently said to me. “She hasn’t stopped making demands since she woke up this morning!!”

Parents regularly speak to me about their teenager’s shocking sense of entitlement. On a bad day, they feel like they exist to meet their teenagers every desire and whim, which is not a cool job description for any parent. On a good day, they are frustrated by their teens general disregard for time, money and things.

Research tells us that the number of teenagers refusing to help around the house has almost tripled from 5.6 per cent in 1992 to 15.8 per cent in 2006 . On the other hand, the amount of time 8 to 18-year-olds spend watching TV, playing video games or surfing the internet has increased dramatically to around 7.5 hours a day . That is 53 hours a week!

Before we get up in arms about this generation, I’d like to stop and see the world through their eyes for a minute. They are a generation who aspire to the good life, as found in their ‘news feeds’ every day. But ordinary can never measure up to the highlight reel of happy faces and special places they see. I honestly think that our kids are asking themselves – What can’t my life look like theirs? What is wrong with my family? Shouldn’t my life be better than it is?

I believe that this ‘perceived perfection’ is coming at a cost to our kids who are becoming restless, ungrateful, disappointed, anxious and unable to handle their everyday real lives. That is why we have to work really hard at bringing young people back to basics; where hard work meets outcomes, money doesn’t grow on trees and we all live on an equal playing field. My hope is that these three strategies will help you do just that.

Make Room for Life Lessons
Small incidental lessons like the one I am about to share with you are powerful ways of teaching teens respect. Any instances where you are in the ‘driver’s seat’ are moments you can use to your advantage. Here’s a great little example that shows how easy it is to teach your children that your time is valuable….

Daughter’s Text: I forgot my PE uniform and I really, really need it before my class this afternoon or I’ll be in big trouble please, please bring it and meet me at the office at lunchtime.
Mum’s Text: What’s in it for me? You are interrupting my afternoon.
Daughter’s Text: ummmm….
Mum’s Text: I need the washing done tonight – three loads and hung out.
Daughter’s Text: Okay I’ll do it tonight.
Mum’s Text: Deal.

Mum then drove up to the school and took the uniform to the office. Instead of feeling resentful for having to bring the uniform up or feeling guilty because her kid was the one who forgot it she proudly said to the school receptionist, “I’m getting the washing done tonight for bringing this up!” To which the receptionist replied, “Good on you. You wouldn’t believe how many mums run up here saying it is their fault that their kid forgot it!”

Let Them Say No
Teens don’t like to hear the word ‘no’, so don’t say it. Put the ball in their court. Give them a set amount of money each week and expect them to manage their own purchases including entertainment and take away food. This will force to them make conscious choices and set priorities. If they want takeaway on the way home from school the answers is always, “Sure darling. Got your money?”

Outsource Them
Part time jobs are priceless! I can’t think of a better way to guide a young person than to teach them the value of hard work. If you prefer your teenager to earn money at home, but are tired of arguing about jobs, why not outsource them? Why not get them to do jobs for neighbours or other family members? They are more likely to work hard for someone they are less familiar with.

It’s a challenge not to jump when our teens demand their own way, but we have to remember that our responses will teach them how to treat us. I encourage parents to keep a look out for everyday opportunities to challenge entitlement and reinforce respect and connection. We will notice they are all around us if we keep an eye out for them.

 

Michelle Mitchell is the founder and CEO of Youth Excel, a charity which helps young people make positive life choices during difficult times. As a national speaker, Michelle has a unique ability to transfer years of knowledge and experience to people of all ages and professions. Her latest book Parenting Teenage Girls in the Age of a New Normal is out now and available globally. For more information vivist www.michellemitchell.org.