Q&A: Preparing my teenagers for adulthood

Q: My son and daughter are 15 and 13, respectively. I’m trying to cover all the bases in helping them prepare for adulthood. Is there something you’ve seen that parents neglect or just forget to talk about?

A: Parents rightfully want teenagers to learn important life lessons – financial management, work ethic, etc. And those are good things to teach to our children. But there’s another topic mums and dads often overlook: marriage!

You’re probably thinking: “Talk to my teenagers about marriage? I’m just hoping to get them through the dating years in one piece!” But conversations about marriage aren’t something that should be ignored in the teen years.

Marriage is an enormous commitment, and yet parents generally do very little to prepare their children for it. That’s why I think it’s best to weave healthy principles about marriage throughout a child’s upbringing. Boys should be taught from a young age what it means to serve their wife, to honour her, and to treat her with dignity. Girls should learn the value of motherhood and how marriage can enhance her identity as a woman, rather than detract from it.

Values like these can even have a positive impact on single young adults. They’ll be better equipped to have a healthy dating life. And they’ll also be more likely to wait for the right relationship instead of jumping into the first thing that comes along.

So don’t wait until your children are deeply entrenched in a romantic relationship before talking to them about marriage. Proactively teach them how to have a healthy relationship, so they’ll be able to make a good decision when it counts. For more tips to help your family thrive at all stages of life, explore our Articles.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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