This week on Real Talk with Rachael features a very special guest, my daughter, Ellie. Ellie Gilbert is a sophomore in high school who loves using her voice wherever God plants her. She loves to cheer, compete in speech and debate tournaments, and preach the gospel at youth events. In her downtime, you can find her working on her latest crochet project.

Key Points from Our Conversation:

  • Creating a safe space for teens to have open conversations with their kids about hard topics means they’re not relying on the internet and peers to be the authority in their lives. It gives the child the ability to ask more questions to find true understanding.
  • Awkwardness keeps teens from feeling safe to have hard conversations with their parents. Allow them to say it “wrong,” then help them find the right words to express their thoughts and feelings.
  • It’s hard for teens to bring up an opinion or thought that may not align with their parents. Teens should approach these sensitive topics with respect and feel comfortable asking the why so they can make decisions with better understanding.
  • Finding identity and the fear of making the wrong choices in the process is a teen’s hardest struggle. What they need is someone to guide and encourage them that their circumstances don’t define them – God does.
  • Teens have a stubbornness that can make it hard to receive encouragement. Pray that God change their heart posture to receive the truth.
  • Teens should remember that this phase of life is not forever. It’s a time to learn, grow, and connect. Encourage them to keep their eyes on the big picture.
  • The mother-daughter relationship is just that – a relationship, not a dictatorship. We should desire to build each other up and help one another, learn from each perspective.

Let’s Get Real Practical:

Ways to invest in a relationship with anyone from another generation who doesn’t think or act like you:

  • Don’t take yourself or each other too seriously.
  • Have fun and teach each other new things.
  • Have real talk. Be honest and speak the truth in love.
  • Listen more than you speak
  • Be a safe space. Refrain from overreacting.
  • Ask – Do you want me to listen or problem-solve?
  • Invest in the relationship. (Try reading a book together.)
  • Pray together.
  • Seek therapy for yourself to get healing.

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