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How to save your family with loving direction (authority)

These waffling moms need to take off their blinders. With eyes wide open, they need to look around and realize that they, not their teens, are the grown-ups in the room.

Teens simply don’t have the knowledge, maturity and wisdom to make adult judgments. That’s why they have us.

Parents possess experience and wisdom children won’t have for years. Even a mature teenager cannot easily envision — by herself — the full, long-term consequences of her actions. She hasn’t lived long enough and doesn’t know enough. An adult, on the other hand, presumably is aware of the consequences of early dating — and the risks of dating an older male whose values and self-control are in doubt.

Most of the moms in this online conversation had the right instincts — they knew the right decision. What they lacked was the confidence and will to act; they lacked the confidence and will to parent.

And that’s not OK. Parents have more than wisdom and years — we have a responsibility given by God to train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 12:6). It’s an ongoing responsibility — a gift to our children — that does not end magically when a child hits 13. Or 15. Or 17.

Loving parental authority not only teaches children right from wrong but also helps them develop prudence, exercise gradual independence and assume greater personal responsibility on the path to adulthood.

Teenagers need their parents.

And parents need to parent.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at