They were at it again. Their voices getting louder than before. This time they weren’t so shy in hiding their feelings.
Differing opinions on how to treat their teen in crisis is fairly common for many parents. It starts out with differing views on counselors, to different avenues of treatment, and finally figuring out how to pay for everything. Maybe your opinion has to do with one of you wanting help and your spouse not wanting help. It is a constant battle for many moms and dads.
Let’s get real. It’s hard to make wise and healthy decisions for your teen when you and your spouse don’t agree with each other. This can wreak havoc, not just for the parents but for the teen as well.
I don’t believe that any mom or dad intentionally wants to bring in more pain to the present crisis. In fact, they want the opposite. Parents would agree that they never would have dreamt or imagined themselves walking the journey of their teen in crisis.
But the fact is, it can happen. This is something that is not discussed while the children are young, mainly because most parents assume they would not be in this position.
I never thought I would have gone through my own trials as a parent with a teen in crisis. If so, myself and many others would have planned for it and been prepared. But that is not real life.
We don’t know the mindset, the emotions, the hurt and pain in our teens. When there is marital strife over these problems, it only adds to a teen’s crisis, not improves it.
So, what do parents do when they can’t seem to come to a resolution?
1. Find someone you both trust and Biblically sound in getting the help you need. They can point you both in a direction that is healthy and beneficial for all that is involved.
2. You may think your idea is better than your spouse’s. But your teen may not like either one of your choices. Find a compromise in where you can meet in the middle. Down the line, it may be your teen who makes the final decision of what is best for them which could mean positive or negative.
3. Don’t be stuck in a corner. There are so many more options today that will bring both of you to an agreement with little struggle in making wise choices.
4. Pray Together! God is the one who will lead the way if you let Him. But if you are too busy disagreeing with each other, nothing will be resolved and God can’t guide you.
5. Be open – sometimes our expectations of a program, a counseling center, or parenting decision may not provide you with your answers. So you will have to go back to revising your plan as to what will best fit your teen, not necessarily what best fits you.
6. Do your research together – compare notes as to what you have learned about programs, counseling centers, etc…so that when you make a decision, it will be jointly. When a teen sees that the parents are not together on their decisions, they will use it to their advantage. Be as a unit, standing strong in getting your teen help.
7. Lay the pride outside. Your goal is for your teen to get help, not whose choice or decision is better. Time is of the essence. If you don’t help your teen, they will worsen as time goes on. This may require of you getting parenting help. Humble yourself and your attitude. Your teen is more important than who’s right.
8. Read and study God’s Word – many wise choices and guidance comes from His Word, even regarding counsel. It will empower you and lead your family.
9. Connect with your Youth Leader or Pastor. They have many good resources that can direct you to key people or resources.
10. Remember – your teen is God’s child too. He gave you the responsibility to raise and care for them. That means you are accountable to their well-being. Listen to His voice, adhere to His wisdom and allow yourself room for correction when needed.
Image Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici atFreeDigitalPhotos.net