Raising Teenagers with Confidence and Joy: An Interview with Connie Albers
In a recent Facebook interview, we had the pleasure of learning from Connie Albers, a mother, speaker, and author of Parenting Beyond the Rules: Raising Teens with Confidence and Joy. Connie felt a call from God to help parents see that “the season of raising teenagers can be one of celebration and joy, and not merely a season to survive.” In her book, Parenting Beyond the Rules, Connie talks about 3 core needs teenagers have:
1. The need to know where they belong
2. The need to know where their identity comes from
3. The need to have a sense of trust
Connie’s mission is to help parents meet these needs in their children so they can live lives of joy and confidence. In Connie’s interview with us, she shared the following insights to help parents get started on this road of parenting beyond the rules:
Be involved and aware.
Connie shared about the importance of knowing what your teens will be facing and knowing your teen by becoming a “student of your child.” Commit yourself to learning what is coming at them from social media or from marketers trying to get your teen’s attention. If you’re involved and aware, you can better equip your child to deal with these things.
Don’t restrict everything.
When parents become aware of the things bombarding their teens, a natural response is to limit and restrict what their teen can do. However, Connie encourages parents to do the opposite. Loosen the reigns and help your teens navigate these things for themselves. You can teach your teen that with increased freedom you expect more maturity and responsibility.
Help them find a cause.
Connie shared a lot about the struggle many parents have with their teens and social media. One way that parents can mitigate the harms of social media is by helping their teens use social platforms for a cause. Help your teens find something they are passionate about and cheer them on to use social media to make a difference in the world for that cause.
Starve your fear.
Parents of teens often have a lot of fear. Sometimes it’s fear for your child. You fear what might happen to them because of bullying or peer pressure or rebellion. Yet, sometimes parents even fear being rejected by their teen, and they avoid difficult parts of parenting because of this fear. Connie encourages parents to starve that fear, remembering that “God did not give us a Spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear should never govern our parenting. Instead, we should and can parent “out of the confidence of knowing that our children are given to us by God to teach and train.”