What will you do when your 17-year-old tells you that his girlfriend, the one you counseled him not to date because she is not a Christian, is pregnant? How will you react when you find out from another parent that for the past six months, your daughter has been going by a different name and using the boys’ restroom at her middle school? What will be going through your head when your teen proudly displays her new tattoo or eyebrow piercing at church? What will be your facial expression when your young adult son tells you that he’s pretty sure he no longer believes in God?
Many years ago, when I was the parent of a toddler and a baby, I heard something on Christian radio that changed my parenting mindset: “If you’re a parent of a child, even a very young child, now is the time to ask yourself this question: What will I do, what will I say, when my teenage daughter comes and tells me she’s pregnant? Or how will I react when I find drugs in my son’s room, hidden under his bed?”
Not if, but when.
Not because you would literally expect your daughter to someday say this to you, or because you fully expect to find drugs in your son’s room, but in order to have a clear mind and a prepared heart for whatever you might hear, see, or discover one day about one of your own children. So that despite the shock and sadness you may feel, despite the hard conversations you may need to have or decisions you may have to make, you can, above all, maintain the relationship with your child.
And have I found the need to employ this good advice over the past 26 years of parenting? Yes. Yes, I have.continue reading