The Upside of Rebellion
In global politics, rebellion is a negative term. It connotes turmoil, injustice, anarchy. In a healthy family, there's an upside to rebellion. In Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, I contend that teenagers must rebel. It is a prerequisite for developing an individual identity, the developmental stage required of teens to become responsible adults. Some types of rebellion have more consequences than others. Teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol addiction, criminal behavior are all rebellious acts that can mar a teen for life. As Christian parents, sometimes the best we can do is love our kids through their bad choices. Most teenage rebellion, however, is a version of testing the limits and/or testing their wings. In shepherding our teens through the sturm und drang of adolescence, we can find teachable moments to share our wisdom, develop a system of accountability and oversight, and help them spread their wings responsibly.
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