Can parents who raise teens with religion help kids make good life choices? Our parenting expert and author has research to prove it. Dr. Parnell Donahue shares an excerpt from his popular book, Messengers in Denim. Let's find out what he's learned and his 8 parenting tips regarding religion.
Religion News Service recently reported on the National Study of Youth and Religion, which has been described as the most comprehensive research ever done on faith and adolescence. Four of five teens in this survey of 3,000 teens and their parents said that religion is important in their lives.
And among parents who said religion was very important in their lives, two-thirds of their children said the same. Most importantly, the survey said that teens with strong religious convictions are more likely to:
. Do better in school
. Feel better about themselves
. Shun alcohol, drugs, and sex
. Care about the poor
. Make moral choices based on what is right rather than what would make them happy (From page 91)
Dr. Donahue's Recommendations and Parenting Tips
1. Belong to an organized religion and attend services regularly.
2. Insist that your kids attend with you and are attentive to the service.
3. Observe your religion's tenets in your home. Read religious books and view religious programs on television.
4. Make sure your teens attend youth group or other structured high school religious education programs.
5. Make use of those teachable moments to express your thoughts and your religion's views.
6. Respect others' religions.
7. Bless your children, your family, and your friends. It shows them you believe what you preach. Blessing even those who dislike you is even more telling.
8. Make religion a habit. (From page 95)
I like Dr. Donahue's straightforward approach to the importance of religion. Religion offers the values and group support that can help teens make good choices and experience spiritual love. Many popular writers shy away from discussing religion and therefore avoid a powerful force for good.When you read Dr. Donahue's chapter on religion, you'll enjoy true teenage stories.
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Let's give Dr. Donahue the PRAISE he deserves for sharing the powerful tool of religion and what it can do for our teenagers. You'll love the true stories he shares about teens in his chapter on religion too.
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