Parenting a Rebellious Teenager

We are looking ahead to Rooted 2022 in Kansas City! October 6-8 the Rooted community will gather to worship, learn from God’s Word, and enjoy rich fellowship with youth pastors and parents from around the country.

We offer a variety of workshops for youth pastors and parents, and this year, we are excited to offer “Trusting When You Don’t Know the Way: Parenting a Rebellious Teen.” Rooted Parent Steering Committee member and frequent blog writer Katie Polski (whom we sometimes refer to as the “parent blog MVP”; check out her page!) will offer a word of grace to parents who desperately want to reach a rebellious child and don’t know where to start. Youth pastors will also find her wisdom helpful as they minister to anxious, worried moms and dads who need the comfort of the gospel to stay the course with kids who seem to want to learn everything the hardest possible way.

Here’s how Katie describes her workshop: Remember the good ole’ days when we strapped our toddler into the car and toted them around? We just can’t do that with teens, and as much as we’d like them to follow our lead, they often choose to go in the opposite direction. What does the Bible say about parenting kids who have acted rebelliously? Where is our hope when our teen displays consistent disobedience? With personal stories, Biblical encouragement, and practical advice, this workshop explores what it looks like to parent a teen who is acting rebelliously. 

She has written for the blog on this subject before. For a preview of what Katie will share, please check out these articles:

But If He Does Not, He Is Still God: Comfort in the Trials of Parenting “In our parenting, we need to pray for bold faith in order to trust the author of our children’s stories, believing that God will do his work even in the face of fires that from our perspective seem out of control.”

Trusting When We Don’t Know the Way: Hope Amidst Teenage RebellionWe tend to hide our parenting struggles from our church family because of our embarrassment or shame, but hiding invites in great loneliness when trudging through the rocky paths of teenage rebellion. You may even be surprised by how many older brothers and sisters can empathize with these parenting challenges. God has given us his church as his hands and feet in his physical absence; experience his tender love by welcoming some of these brothers and sisters along for the journey.”

Trusting God With A Wayward Child “Open-handed faith toward our loving Savior should be our response when we don’t see immediate change in a wayward child. What we often want is an instant result from our prayers; we desire that the Lord redirects our child’s path in the way we envision he or she should go. But open-handed trust relinquishes the need to control, and instead of coming to Jesus with hands full of plans and ultimatums, we come with empty hands asking the Lord that His will be done.”

We would love for you to join us in Kansas City!

Along these same lines, you might find these pieces helpful:

Parenting the Prodigal by Carolyn Lankford. “Christ’s church, thankfully, is full of prodigal sons and daughters who have come home. We found a Christian counselor who genuinely delighted in our lost child. While my husband and I felt exhausted and overwhelmed, this wonderful man had a perspective that was so helpful to us. He understood our child in a way we could not.”

I Am the Prodigal Son by Shaun McDonald. “Naturally, in an effort to find the love I so desperately desired, I was the poster child for rebellious activity.”

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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