7 Tips for Treating Teens with Compassion

Teens Need You to Love Them

1. Nurture them. Ephesians 6:4 tells us, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Nurture speaks of tutoring, educating, and training. This kind of instruction includes mild rebukes and correction but does not respond in a fleshly manner. 

2. Remember that they are gradually becoming independent. A wise parent and a wise youth pastor will gradually allow more areas of responsibility and decision-making in the life of a teen.

3. Treat them with dignity and respect. Never call them names. Do not demean them in front of others. Ask them to do things rather than ordering them to be done.

4. Relate to them. Remember that all teenagers have a lot of emotions inside them. Don’t just say to them, “I know how you feel.” Ask God for understanding and say, “Can I guess what you’re feeling about this and will you tell me if I’m right?”  When they believe you understand them, they will begin to listen.

5. Treat minor infractions light-heartedly. Often a parent, a youth pastor, or a preacher will use an atom bomb to punish a teenager for jaywalking!

6. Demonstrate love and affection even if it is not reciprocated. It is always right to love people, whether they love us back or not.

7. Pray! There is no substitute for asking God to work in the heart of a teenager, give you the right heart towards them, and help you to understand and relate to them.

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