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Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions

QUESTION:

Hello. I'm not sure who to address this inquiry to as I'm not sure who is reading this e-mail! But I'm hoping to get a couple of recommendations as to a good study/devotional to do with my [very rebellious] seventeen year old daughter. She is not open, so it will be somewhat forced, but I'm hoping to find something that will relate to her where she is at. I appreciate your insights.

-Gina (Big Horn, WY)

ANSWER:

Gina,

Great question. First, you're not alone. A lot of parents out there are dealing with teenagers who are rebelling in various ways. I'm glad to hear that you would like to do a study or devotional with her.

Here's a quick little hint, and then some resource suggestions for ya:

HINT: Relationship first. If you want to be able to have some deep conversations with your daughter, then start with light and fun conversations. Find a place she likes to go (breakfast? French fries after school? Ice cream?) and sit in a booth with her and just chat with her. Ask her fun questions about her week, what she enjoys doing, etc. (I spend two chapters talking about this and I provide a bunch of discussion-starting questions in my parenting book, CANDID CONFESSIONS OF AN IMPERFECT PARENT.)

After a few times taking her to ice cream or someplace fun, tell her, "This is fun. Let's find a time where we can do this weekly. We'll go to a place of your choice, and we'll spend half of the time just talking about whatever you want to talk about. And during the second half of the time, I want to go through this book" (or whatever resources/study you decide to go through).

That brings up the resources.

There are tons of ways you can go here. There are some books that you could read together ("Read a chapter and we'll get together and discuss it next week), there are Bible books ("Read Mark chapter 1 and we'll talk about what we read next week) or there are curriculums and discussions available. Our website "The Source for Parents" has some great current discussions starters using media as a springboard for discussion that might just do the trick. Here's two good ideas:

MUSIC DISCUSSIONS: From our www.TheSource4Parents page, access the dropdown menu at the top left of the page where it says FREE RESOURCES & IDEAS. Choose MUSIC DISCUSSIONS. That page is full of fairly current songs (some from the last month or two... some from a few years ago) that you can discuss. Each of these discussions provides questions you can discuss with your daughter, a scripture passage and some direction where to take the conversation. There are three simple questions at first, then some more questions for "deeper discussion." So you can customize the discussion to be as long or as brief as you desire.

MOVIE REVIEWS & QUICK Q's: From our www.TheSource4Parents page, access the dropdown menu at the top left of the page where it says FREE RESOURCES & IDEAS. Choose MOVE REVIEWS & QUICK Q's. That page is full of current movies that you can discuss. We don't review every film, but at any given time we usually have discussions/reviews posted for numerous films in the theatre and on the NEW RELEASE wall at your local rental store. Each of these discussions provides questions you can discuss with your daughter, a scripture passage and some direction where to take the conversation.

I think you'll find both those resources to be very helpful. And they're both free.

Another great free discipleship resource is on our youth ministry page HERE. (You can read a description about it and download it near the bottom of that page.) It's a free discipleship guide called WELCOME TO THE FAMILY. I've discipled many kids with this book, including my own. It's designed to be done together, reading and answering questions, filling out answers as you go. I tried to go through a chapter a week with my kids. Really good little book.

I hope these resources and ideas help you a little bit in this time with your daughter.

Thanks for the email.

Keep up the good work!

God Bless,
Jonathan McKee


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