By: Julia Sharp
I am passionate about reading. Love it. I will read any and everything I can get my hands on, and when desperate I’ve even been known to read the back of a cereal box. I’m currently in the middle of Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. If you haven’t read it yet, put it on the list. If you’re not a reader, put it on the list. You will not be disappointed. In a few words Don can challenge, inspire and motivate in a way which few writers can.
With insight and raw honesty this book invites you to engage in the story of your life (more on that in another blog). I bring up the book because it caught my attention when Don mentioned his friends and their teenage daughter. She was heading down a path that strikes fear into most parents. The kind of path which brings parents into my office dragging their teen behind them with a look mixed with anxiety and exasperation asking me to “fix them”. Through conversation with Don, the father realizes that his daughter was choosing the most enticing story she could for her life and he set out to create a story that would be more tempting than the one she was choosing. This father realized you cannot force your teen to change, you cannot verbally berate them into submission, neither can you shame them into choosing what’s “right”. You will only succeed in pushing them further from you. They will choose the story that is most loving, kind, accepting, exciting and fun. If you are struggling with your teen, I encourage you to try the following: Take an honest look at the story of your life and make some changes. Create an environment your teen will want to engage in. Build relationship with them, take on a challenge together, accept and love them for where they are, adopt a better story for yourself and watch them crave a better story for themselves. Will this solve all of your problems? Of course not, but its a huge step in a more positive direction.