Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important. Self-discipline with awareness of consequences. Dalai Lama

Meditation: One of the developmental challenges for teenagers is to learn self-discipline. Their brains are wired to go for pleasure and immediate gratification, and our society offers them thousands of reasons to follow that route. A mature brain learns to delay immediate gratification as to uphold certain values or to reach higher goals. For the teenage brain to develop, it needs both positive affirmation and at times negative consequences to learn to move from immediate gratification to increasing self-discipline. As parents we walk the fine line between supporting and structuring the teenager while stepping aside and letting natural consequences of behavior happen. Both teens and parents are experiencing growing pains as the experience of negative consequences happens. Parents need to trust that this growing pain will help the teenage brain to develop further and thus begin to learn the first steps and rewards of self-discipline.

Prayer: God of youth and maturity, we pray for our teenagers as their brains are developing. Be with them during their experiences of negative consequences and optimal frustration. Let them experience also enough love and empowerment that their brains can begin to develop self-discipline. Thank You that Your Spirit is promised to all of us. As we parents are engaging our teens while also step aside, help us trust that Your Spirit is guiding us and them on this journey of becoming. And we are grateful. Amen

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2. Timothy 1:7

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