When is it time to look outside of your home for help with your struggling teen? Parents call us in desperation, trying to find some hope for their sons and for their families. No doubt, you are reading this page with mixed emotions. Perhaps you are hanging onto the knot at the end of your rope. You might be broken and crying over your son’s defiance. You may be angry, having endured years of slow-burn deceit and manipulation. Maybe you just haven’t been able to find a way to reach into his heart and help him see that God is real and that your relationships are God’s gift to build up and encourage each other as you go through life’s struggles.
As you consider a new environment and entrusting a new group of caring people to invest in reaching your son’s heart, here are a few points to think through.
What is your son’s spiritual attitude?
Is your son captured by sin? It could be a relationship with a friend that is a bad influence, sexual activity, phone or device addiction, or laziness. Does your son set your relationship aside to pursue his sin? Is his sin so important that he doesn’t seem to care what you say about it, or how you attempt to help him get free of it? He just plows on ahead toward more sin. Romans 6:16-17; Colossians 3:5-11; Galatians 6:7-9
Is your son spiritually apathetic? Does he struggle with putting time into strengthening his spiritual life? When the Bible is brought up, or when church is mentioned, does he just want you to “stop.” Are biblical truths just not important to him? Does he avoid spiritual discussion by walking out, falling asleep, or countering with “that’s for you?” Colossians 3; 2 Timothy 4:3-5
How is your son handling responsibility?
Is your son unmotivated? Is he unwilling to take care of his daily responsibilities, such as school, chores, job, sports? Colossians 3:17; Galatians 6:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Ephesians 5:15-17
Is your son rejecting the importance of school? Ecclesiastes 3:12-13; 1 Peter 5:5; Titus 3:1-2
Where is your son relationally?
Are you able to influence him for change? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the least, rate what you feel is your level of influence with your son. Is your son willing to listen to you and implement change?” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Hebrews 12:7-11
Is your son mean and threatening toward siblings or one of his parents? James 4:1-2; Philippians 2:3, 5-7
Is your son a professional manipulator? Does he twist words to belittle you? Does he work “deals” to get his way and then not see any reason to uphold his end of the bargain? Does he build well articulated “cases” for why he should get what he wants (and you should pay for it…)? Proverbs 4:23-27; 1 Timothy 3:6 (uses guilt and shame to manipulate)
Is your son unteachable? Does he refuse to listen to counsel given by you, your pastoral staff, or a biblical counselor? Proverbs 26:12; Hebrews 13:17
Is your son angry? Does your son sometimes, with very little reason, strike out in anger with targeted, hurtful words or does he have fits of rage where he threatens others and/or will not be controlled? James 1:19-20; Proverbs 14:29
In your family life, if these arenas are out of control in one way or another, we’d suggest that you give the Victory Academy team of biblical counselors a phone call for a free consultation. We have been working with struggling teens and their parents since 1983 and it is our passion to help families apply the hope of the Gospel of Christ to their daily life struggles.