Solving Problems of Teenagers
Following is an excerpt from a letter received in the São Paulo, Brazil, branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was written by a mother who has four children and an unbelieving husband. Regarding her 13-year-old daughter, she wrote:
“I must confess that I have not given her enough attention . . .
“I began to notice that my daughter was cooling off in regards to attending meetings, family Bible discussions and field service. When I asked her what was wrong, the answer was, ‘Oh, nothing.’ Then one day she told me that she was sharing in these Christian activities because she was obliged to, not because she wanted to. She said she did not want to be like her sister, have one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a boyfriend and marry ‘in the truth.’ She wanted the kind of life everyone else has. I could hardly believe my ears, since we do have good times together as a family.
“Upon my pressing her further, she said that in her chats with her school chums she could see what the world had to offer. And, according to them, I was mean and too strict a mother. So she asked me for five months without any Christian activity so she could figure out what she wanted in life.
“After thinking about this for some time, I suggested the following: That instead of my giving her five months without any Christian activity, she should give me five months to get closer to her. I would walk to and from school with her and she would go with me on my Bible studies and return visits. In other words, she would share more fully with me in my Christian activities.
“She agreed, and now two months have gone by and the results have been excellent. She herself admits that her attitude was just one of childish futility. Once again I see Jehovah’s hand over all my four children. I am really the privileged one. In my prayers I have offered my children to Jehovah, but I am the one receiving the gift.”
Four months later the young girl was again sharing fully and voluntarily in all Christian activity, and the mother was wiser and more appreciative. It may be that her suggestion would help to solve problems that others have in raising their children.