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Reader Question: Surviving the Sometimes Challenging Teen Years

Reader Question:I'm actually asking for myself and another friend. We're both going through this pre-teen stage with out 12 year olds, hers a girl and mine a boy. How do you survive?! We're dealing with smart mouths and nasty attitudes and at a total lose as to how to lovingly navigate through this. @mferrell

My readers I’m doing a bit of a different post today and sharing with you a question I have from a dear friend and blog reader here. I’d love to try to answer your questions so if you have anything you’d like to ask about topics that relate to being a Christian woman, wife, mother and homemaker please send them to me here.

Reader Question:

Needing some wisdom and advice from you my dear sweet mentor. I’m actually asking for myself and another friend. We’re both going through this pre-teen stage with out 12 year olds, hers a girl and mine a boy. How do you survive?! We’re dealing with smart mouths and nasty attitudes and at a total lose as to how to lovingly navigate through this.

My Response:

Define survive. Sorry couldn’t resist. I always remind my Amber (my daughter who has three children 5 and under) that these are the best years with those babies because she controls where they go, what they see, who they talk too etc. I know the little years are physical but these teen years are hard dear friend. I don’t have an easy solution as it is just continuing to respond to them in a Christlike way.

Keeping that communication open is such a big one. Your hope is your kids will always know they can come to you about anything and that your love for them is unconditional. Your example to them is one they are watching as these are the years where they are trying to figure out how they fit in, who they are, even if they made of profession of faith as a child always remember they may not be truly converted. Children love to please their parents and so many who grow up in Christian homes just assimilate into their environment without being truly converted. They may be questioning Christianity and don’t let this scare you but let them share any doubts or questions they have openly. It is always better to know what they are thinking even if it may be hard to hear so you at least know where they are coming from.

You obviously have to correct bad attitudes but doing it in a loving way that brings it back to God’s Word and points them to the Gospel is so good. It is never right to respond to sin with sin. Share with them your struggles with sin. We have bad attitudes and icky stuff going on in our own hearts but we don’t have to let that rule because of Jesus ruling in our hearts as believers.

One other thought is the reminder that you can’t save your children. Don’t get caught up in a list of rules that if you do this this will happen. Our God is sovereign and in control of all things and we are just called to be faithful to what He has called us to do. We can’t save anyone but we can just continually hope to point them to Christ.  We don’t know the testimony He is writing in their lives.

If I could encourage one thing it is to work hard on keeping them communicating openly with you.

I’m just linking a couple articles but don’t feel obligated to read them. Hoping this was some help. It is a hard and fun season at the same time with teens and young adults. My best advice always is to pray continually.

Love you and praying for both your families xoxo


What are some ways you respond and deal with correction to your teens and young adults in your home in a Christlike way? Please share with us in the comments section on this post or on Facebook.

Please share your reader questions here. I would love to hear from you. 


Related Resources:

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp (this is one I recommend every parent read no matter the ages of your children – even adult children) Please see my Resource Page for more recommendations.

Biblically Communicating with Your Children

Building Better Communication with Your Teen

Your Best Parenting is Done by Prayer


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this as well as linking to the other resources! I have two teenage daughters, and I think your advice about keeping the lines of communication open is so key.

    I certainly need the Holy Spirit’s help and God’s wisdom to parent my precious teenagers! Correcting in love – yet dealing out consequences and standing firm in my decisions – isn’t always easy! I know I need to be better at pointing them to God’s Word when we have difficult discussions (thankfully my husband is great at that!!)

    Most of all, I seek to cover them in prayer. As you say, God is the only one who can change their hearts – and at this age, my greatest desire is to see them grow in their personal walk with Him, and make the faith they’ve grown up in truly their own.

    Pinning this to hopefully encourage other moms of teens!!

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      My husband is so good at pointing back to Christ too Tracey and has been such a good example to me. I can get caught up in emotions and respond before praying and pondering so I continually need that renewing of my mind when dealing with issues, even now with adult children. Thank you for sharing your thoughts xo

  2. Well, I have 13 yr old boy/ girl twins and I feared the day they became teenagers. But, I’m here and I’m doing it. Some days are better than others. I do agree that open communication is so vital to keeping good relationships with our kids. However we want to remind our kids, and we use this phrase often that ” im your parent, not your buddy” this goes against the status quo if today. I think parents try to be their kids friend too much and then kids don’t have any respect for their parents, and if they don’t respect parents, they most likely won’t respect any adults.
    Also, it’s good to always point them back to scripture. And how God expects us to act and behave. Jesus said the greatest of these is Love. He put that on top of the list for good reason. Cause love drives us to go above and beyond or to say” ya know what? I’ve messed up. Will you forgive me?” And kids need to see that side of us too.
    Lastly, I think it’s important to remind them of Gods grace and unconditional love. Not as a pass to sin but is there when we need it.
    Jesus never promised our walk would be easy, only that we didn’t have to do it alone.
    Hope this helps someone.
    Oh and one more thing, I remind my husband and kids often ” we’re all on the same team here”
    Blessings!! ❌⭕️

    1. Marci Ferrell says:

      Love this Cindy, thank you so much for sharing your insights :). So true on the importance of bringing them back to the Word and that we are not called to be their friends but their parents.

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