Establishing Friendship Goals With Your Teens

Homeschool parents spend many hours with their teens. While we hope that the majority of that time is enjoyable, we know from personal experience that the close quarters of homeschooling can at times be a cauldron of emotions, tension, and stress. Not necessarily a fertile ground for friendships between teens and parents to grow! While the main role you have as parents is to nurture, raise, and disciple your teens in godliness, make it a goal to transition into becoming friends with your teens as they mature into young adults. We don’t want to downplay your God-given role as the authority in your teens’ lives, but rather encourage you to assess your relationship with your teen. Consider whether these elements of friendship are present (taken from the Encarta Dictionary):

  • Someone who trusts and is fond of another
  • Someone who thinks well of and is on good terms with another
  • Someone who is an ally
  • Someone who is a defender or supporter

A parent who is also a friend has greater influence and impact. If you feel that your present relationship with your teen needs some refreshment, Age of Opportunity and War of Words by Paul David Tripp will give you helpful suggestions.

We all learn by what is modeled to us. Is your teen seeing you fostering healthy friendships? Even though you are in a busy season of life, you will benefit from the joy of friendships. As with your teens, the number of your friendships is not as important as the quality of the friendship. Allow your teens to see that friendships take time, compromise (the right kind), selflessness, and care.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 provides a wonderful and concise summary of friendship: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” These are the years to remind your teens that high school at home gives them unique opportunities to foster many kinds of friendships—some of which may be lifelong—that are built on healthy foundations.  

This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug 2012 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Learn more at www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com 

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer serve as high school consultants for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Homeschooling Thru High School program. They are nationally acclaimed speakers and authors on high school topics. As former homeschool moms whose adult children have graduated from college, Becky and Diane can relate to your homeschool joys and challenges. Their desire is to help you homeschool high school with excellence. Most of all, they pray that your homeschooling years are full of delight knowing that your investment in your teens is seen and rewarded by the Lord. Benefit monthly from their expertise by signing up to receive their free monthly e-mail newsletters, on topics of interest to those teaching high school at home. If you are interested in having them speak to your group, contact them at highschool@hslda.org.

Publication date: December 26, 2012