Remember You Are Fighting FOR Not Against Your Tween – Day 18

A few years ago we had what I call, with no exaggeration or hyperbole, The Worst. Summer. Ever.

My daughter was 12. And she was very good at it. Nothing anyone suggested or offered was right. No matter what our plans were, her life was terrible. She was hormonal, hypersensitive, and sometimes even hateful.

It was whatever is the opposite of fun.

I tried every parenting technique in my arsenal. Nothing worked. Nothing. All the bribing and begging, cajoling and commanding, fell on (selectively) deaf ears. I’m pretty sure at one point I asked my husband if we could go on vacation without her.

Be sure I am not proud of that. But, it’s important to me that you understand how miserable that summer was and how much I felt like a failure as a mom. In fact, it was during one of those long summer days when a wise mom mentor/friend spoke these words,

“Remember, you are fighting FOR her not against her.”

Her words were just the shock I needed to get back on track as a mom. I’d gotten so consumed with the daily mess, I’d forgotten the big picture.  I’d been fighting against my child and, as a result was losing a battle I never wanted to lose.

Parenting tweens isn't for the weak at heart. Just remember you are fighting FOR not against your child.

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So, I changed course.  And I did it in two big ways.

Fighting FOR the future not against the past

It’s easy to get caught up in all she’s done and forget all she will do.  When we fight for our kids, we are investing in their futures.  This means we parent with forward vision. We invest and discipline in ways that reveal the potential and promise in our kids.

Fighting FOR the best not against the worst

It’s so easy, especially during the difficult parenting seasons, to focus on all those attributes and attitudes that represent the worst parts of our kids. And while we definitely need to address those things, we must never let them become the centerpiece of our parenting.  Remember to identify the areas where you see growth or the characteristics you most admire. Be intentional about recognizing the best parts of your tween … not just dealing with the worst.

Who is our battle against?

Paul reminds us that our children are not the enemy:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. Ephesians 6:12 CSB

So often as parents we get into an us vs. them mentality regarding our children.  But the truest truth is this: our enemy is far more insidious than anything our children will do and our enemy’s great desire is to keep us from raising children who will be sold out for the kingdom of God.

This enemy wants us to be so busy trying to manage behaviors and appearances, focusing on expectations rather than truth. Let’s not give him that win! Let’s declare here and now that we will no longer fight against our children … that we know this battle isn’t fought over clean rooms and cheerful attitudes.  This battle is for the hearts of children and we will be vigilant and focused as we fight FOR them!

How do we fight for our children?


It always starts with prayer.  Praying Scripture over and for our children is one of our most powerful ways to fight for them.  When we stand firm in the Word of God, claiming His truth over our kids’ lives, we will have greater confidence as we raise them to seek His face for their whole lives.


As our children get older, the days of them seeking us out fade. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need us.  Our job becomes to pursue them. Be intentional and diligent to pursue your tween. Open the door for conversations. Invite your child to spend time with you. Take interest in the things that interest your child.

Parenting a tween isn’t for the weak at heart.

But it’s a challenge worth taking! So, dig in and fight hard. Just remember to fight hard FOR your tween … and then watch the ways God will work in your tween and in you!


Teri Lynne ||

P.S. The Worst. Summer. Ever. ended without any major change in my girl’s attitude but with a definite difference in my heart. Now, five years later, I’m still fighting for her and finding that with every passing day she’s becoming a person I deeply admire. In other words, don’t give up!!


This was Day 18 of 30 Days of the Tween Parenting Encouragement Blog Party!

What an incredible post with fantastic reminders of how to not fight against our tweens! I love the focus of  “parenting with forward vision”. It’s SO easy to get caught up in the battle against them.

Teri Lynne has lots of resources available on both of her sites including her monthly prayer calendars on Prayers for Girls as well as her Full Life Club a Place of Encouragement for Living Abundantly in This Busy World!

And if you are a girl mom, you do not want to miss her book Praying for Girls coming July 2017!

Yes, you can pre-order now!

*Please note: Affiliate links used in any of our posts are personal to us. We must love the products we recommend to you, our amazing community! We have to believe that they will serve you in order to recommend them.*

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