Dear Pastor Sam
Dear Pastor Sam,
Our teenage son is out of control. He doesn’t listen to us and is very rebellious. We have tried everything to get him in control but nothing seems to work. Do you have any suggestions?
At Wits End
Dear At Wits End,
The time to train a child begins at birth and continues all their life. We tend to treat children like many treat a puppy. When they are young we love them and spoil them but as they get older the puppy turns into a full grown dog and is out of control.
As the child grows older when we spoil them they want to continue to get spoiled but we don’t want to.
The first thing you have to do is set down rules. You can’t keep changing the rules and you must enforce the rules. Don’t say you are grounded and then make an exception because it will make your life easier. The boy needs to learn responsibility and won’t learn it until you make him be responsible. He needs to have a job of some type and he needs to pay for some of his own stuff. Don’t just give him money, make him earn it.
He ought to be attending church with you. You will have a very hard time making him start as a teenager if he hasn’t been attending. Talk to a youth worker and see if there is some way they can get him involved and interested.
Most important love him but don’t coddle him. Be firm but discipline him in love. It is very important to make rules but it is also important that you not keep changing them. When you do that they don’t understand the boundaries. Let me know how things are going.
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