Our pastor did a series on Revelation, and I had quite a revelation about teenagers, and how to deal with them. In Revelation, each letter to the churches is a rather "difficult" message for them to receive. And each one follows a recipe for instruction.
Each letter contains an encouragement, a listing of something the church was doing right, no matter how small. It included a correction, or instruction on what they should do differently. It also gave some motivation - the big WHY they should correct their behavior.
God's advice is always good, and his example here is just great! When you have to give your teens a difficult message, it's good to start with an affirmation of what they do right. It can't be ALL rotten, and starting with something good can help teen hear what you have to say.
Provide correction, but also explain why they should change. "Because I said so" doesn't go as far with teenagers as it does with young children. Yes, behavior needs to change, but when you explain the details to them it can help them reason through the situation like an adult. They may not reason like an adult now, but hearing your reasoning may help them when they grow up. As adults, they will be better able to think through different situations, because they will have heard your motivational reasons and they can apply it to situations as they arise.
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