Tips for Teens and Families

Tips for Teens and Families

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7 Tips for Getting Along with Siblings

Often the hardest people to get along with are in our own households, especially brothers and sisters. So what are some tips for getting along with those in your house?

  1. Realize that God values your sibling as much as He values you. He's on your side; and He also has your sibling's back.
  2. Start seeing your brother or sister as a person. Notice his or her good points. Focus on those to start liking who your brother or sister is.
  3. Try to speak kindly instead of snapping at each other. Resist the urge to snap back.
  4. Put distance between yourself and your sibling if you know he or she is in a bad mood and especially if your sibling is trying to start a fight.
  5. Don't make a big issue out of minor annoyances.
  6. Resist the urge to compete by realizing each person in your family has unique gifts and talents.
  7. Realize that older brothers and sisters sometimes need space from others. Remember, sometimes younger siblings just want your attention because they admire you so much.

Biblical Advice for Families:

  1. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ in God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
  2. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).
  3. Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Corinthians 13:11).
  4. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
  5. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
  6. A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).
  7. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10).

Help! I have a stepparent!

  • When your parents break up and one or both move on to a new relationship, it's normal to grieve almost like someone has died. After all, you've lost the family and dreams for your family's future. So, it's normal to grieve that loss. The challenge is to not take that pain out on the new person in your mom or dad's life.
  • As one teen said, "I don't like it that my parents split and one's getting married again, but you deal with life as it is and you move on into what has become the new reality."
  • Try to see the stepparent as a real person with his or her own skills, abilities, and talents.
  • Realize you're not betraying your mom or dad by learning to like a stepmom or stepdad. Just as you love an aunt differently than you love your mom, you can love a stepmom in a different way than you love your mom.
  • Understand that your stepparent may be new to this, too. Being a stepparent is also hard. Forgive stepparents for making blunders as they get used to their new roles.
  • On the other hand, be willing to accept the stepparent's attempts to build a relationship with you.
  • Feel free to let your stepparent know what things bother you (for instance, if you don't want to call her "Mom"), but be kind about it. Focus on how you feel, not on accusing the new stepparent.
  • Notice how much the stepparent means to your mom or dad. If you have a hard time appreciating the stepparent, maybe it will help to notice how much comfort and joy the stepparent brings to your parent.

Serve Together

  • Have you ever thought about doing family ministry? Talk to your parents about ways that you can all join together to make a difference in your community and your world.
  • Babysit as a family for several couples that might appreciate a parents' night out, but can't afford childcare.
  • Sponsor a child as a family through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries:
  • Work together for a school or community fundraiser. For instance, make snacks together. Or take a shift together working at it.
  • Go on a mission trip together.
  • Ask your parents to come with you to your youth group sometime and go with them to their group to learn about each other's vision and spiritual development.
  • Serve some meals together at the city's rescue mission or see how you can serve the homeless together.
  • Visit relatives or church members in nursing homes, or check with a nursing home to see how you can minister to this other often-forgotten element of society. Some senior centers welcome visits from pets. Get your family pet involved!
  • Adopt a grandparent. As a family, adopt an older person or couple in your neighborhood, community, or church. As a family, handle the person's yard work, make sure they're taken care of at holidays—either that they have someone to spend a holiday with, or invite them to your house for a meal or Christmas present opening.
  • Have a family missions fund. For instance, you could decorate a jar and put it in a common area in your house and drop change in it when you walk by. Then when the jar's full, donate the funds to missions or a special ministry.
  • Volunteer to work together with a kids' class at church or at VBS. You can take a monthly stint in the nursery or toddlers' room or children's church.

Compiled by Jeanette Littleton

Holiness Today, July/August 2012