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Out Honor Your Teen
by Carwin Dover

Do you think it is your kid's job to "out honor" you? Do you think you do enough already with everything you've done and plan to do in the future? The answer is probably "yes" to both questions. It is a commandment that your children are to honor you -- the fourth one!  You probably do plenty for your teen as it is. You may even be planning to foot the bill for a college education.

So, what could it mean to "out honor" your teen?
I'm not suggesting ignoring behaviors that need adjusting or letting your teen "off the hook" when consequences need to be put in place.  I do believe that Paul meant "out honoring" to mean respecting before being respected, building up before being built up, and loving before being loved. The opportunity to "out honor" is a gift given to you to pass on to someone else.

Inciteful Insight!  It seems wise to give honor to your teen.
Who else will teach him/her to "out honor"?  Plus, it's another opportunity to practice unconditional love!
inciteful is intentionally spelled to mean an insight that urges or stirs up thought!

The following are ten reasons to make the most of the opportunities you have to "out honor" your teen. Remember, they are with you for a short time, but your influence will last several generations. (that's one more reason to "out honor" them!)

Top Ten Reasons to "Out Honor" Your Teen!
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ONE: Develop Creativity!
When a teen is acting in ways that remind you of you, a bit of creativity will help you respond rather than react. When your teen is acting great, a little creativity helps you find even better ways of "out honoring" than the usual, "here's the car keys" or "go ahead and stay out an extra hour" or "here's an extra twenty."
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TWO: You Will Be Thanked. (eventually!)
When I am coaching parents of teens, I sometimes ask if they feel appreciated as parents. As you might expect, the answer usually slants toward the negative! When I visit with "empty nesters", they often relate very touching stories about their adult children who finally said, "Thanks for everything you did for me!"
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THREE: It Teaches Grace!
Teens may not know at the moment when they are being disrespectful. When you "out honor" them anyway, they are receiving your love even without deserving it. The difficult part is "out honoring" in a way that does not reinforce bad behavior. "Out honoring" may at times just be in the form of "not doing what you'd like to do!"
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FOUR: You Will Impress Your Teen's Friends!
Sometimes "out honoring" your teen will affect your teen's friends as much as anyone. Later on, they will tell your teen, "I wish I had parents like that!" or "You really have cool parents." Your teen will be quite perplexed.
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FIVE: Who Else Will?
Other teens do not generally do a very good job of "out honoring" their friends. They are usually conditional in their relationships or they are so "non-judgmental" that they really don't know how to give honor. Parents really have the best opportunity to teach the art of honoring and to give it in abundance.
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SIX: It Takes Less Energy!
Do you feel a bit worn out after a round with your teen? It takes tons of energy to out do a teen, especially if you are trying to "out anger" your teen! When you "out honor" your
teen, it takes very little energy because there's no competition. Besides that, you're getting too old to work up that much steam! "He who angers you, controls you." -- anonymous
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SEVEN: It's Your Chance to be Weird!
Eventually, your teen will notice when you are "out honoring" him or her. That's when you are likely to receive the "weird parent" award. Say "thank you" with sincerity. When your teen responds with, "you really are weird!" be sure to say, "Thank you!" once again. You will then be given the rolling eyeball show!
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EIGHT: It Builds Character!
If you decide to begin to "out honor" your teen, you can be sure that your own character will begin to grow. "Out honoring" is hard work! You will also find that as you become more successful, other relationships you have will also benefit from your character development.
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NINE: It Will Make You Pray!
Sometimes I think God gives us little opportunities in life to be overwhelmed and to feel inadequate. One form of those opportunities is teenagers! If your teen never brings you to your knees, I'm not sure what will. At any rate, it is also an opportunity to relate with God frequently! "God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage." -anonymous
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TEN: You'll Get to See the Grandkids!
The respect and "out honoring" you give your teen will probably pay off when the grandkids start to come. What parent would want to have their kids around someone who doesn't know how
to "out honor"? Hopefully, your kids will remember how you "out honored" them as kids and will want to have their children exposed to your graciousness.

Carwin Dover, Relationship Coach for challenging relationships at work and at home. www.LutheranCoffeeBreak.com coach@LutheranCoffeeBreak.com weekly newsletter: subscribe@LutheranCoffeeBreak.com

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