Mom's Not Fair

from Good Advice
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Mom's Not Fair

I need your help. I like to go out with my friends, but my mom usually won't let me. I'm a good kid. I don't drink, smoke or have sex. I get so angry at her. I end up sitting home while all my friends are out having fun. Most of my close friends understand, but I'm losing other ones, not to mention pushing away potential boyfriends because she never lets me do anything. What can I do?

Parents are in the "protection business" and I think your job is to earn their trust. As you show yourself trustworthy, they'll most likely begin to trust you more.

When you're trying to get along with your parents, remember this:

1. Nobody sent them to parent training school. They are still trying to figure out how to be a parent. Remember, they're people and they make mistakes too.

2. Your parents are running scared. They may never tell you this, but when it comes to raising you, they are a bit frightened. After all, it's pretty easy to blow it as a teenager. They know this because they probably made some mistakes growing up.

3. Parents often express care and concern in overprotective ways. This doesn't mean they are always right, but it probably does mean they really love you.

4. Your parents could be going through their own identity crisis. Just like you, they have their own issues to deal with, and sometimes they take their stress out on the family.

Most criticism has at least a grain of truth in it, so look for ways to listen, hear and respond humbly to your mom's critique. First of all, you say you don't drink, smoke or have sex. Do your friends? Is it possible that your mom is concerned because she sees things in your friends that she's afraid will "rub off" on you?

If you truly believe your mom is totally unreasonable, I suggest you get a third person to hear both of your concerns. This could be your pastor, youth worker or even a trained counselor. You just need someone who will offer you and your mom unbiased guidance and advice. Whatever happens, in the midst of the battle, try to cut your mom some slack. She's probably doing the best she can.

How Can I Help My Friend?

My best friend isn't a Christian. I know you're supposed to have Christian friends but I can't stop being friends with her. We do things together and we always have fun. But when I try to talk to her about God, she says she's just not ready to commit to him. I take her to church every Sunday. She says she has fun, but I just want to make sure she becomes a Christian. What should I do?

Being a Christian doesn't mean you have to give up all your non-Christian friends. Non-Christians are not terrible people. On the contrary, some of the most generous and loving people I know are not Christians. I learn from them, enjoy their company and am challenged by their questions. I encourage you to keep relationships with non-Christians because through your loving example, they may come to know Jesus.

But to be a growing believer, you also need friends who will challenge you spiritually. Make sure you're developing strong relationships with believers who can build you up in your faith. I must also caution you to be aware of your relationships with non-Christian friends. Be sure those friendships aren't leading you to do, say or think things that are contrary to your Christian values.

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