Using these most important 10 words with your child/teen can both open the door for a new season of relationship as well as usher in a chance to right a wrong parenting leadership course.
Last week as I was speaking to parents in Tampa, I felt to demonstrate to the parents how to properly implement changes in your home after The Lord has convicted you of a parenting error. We were talking about the issue of romance, dating, and relationships and pondering how many of us, at the conclusion of the conference, needed to go home and make some significant adjustments in our leadership. But how can you change when you know your teenager is going to use the "you already said!" argument as to why the new changes would be unfair.
One option would be to "lay down the new laws" and tell the teen they will just have to get used to the new ways. Another would be to ease in some minor, watered down version of the needed changes so as to not ruffle the teen's feathers. But my best key for those parents was a third option.
Start with sincere humility. Admit and confess your parenting failure both to the Lord and to your family. Take ownership in the error as you ask your child's forgiveness for the wrong leadership direction. Then try saying something like this....
"Son or daughter.......The Lord has convicted me of this error and He is also helping me to gain wisdom for a new direction. I am thinking this may not be an easy change for either of us so please pray for me to choose wisely now."
Perhaps a few more days will pass before it seems prudent to come back for the next step.
"Son, I believe I am seeing some new direction for us now. I am so encouraged how God has answered my prayer to assist you in establishing a healthy foundation for marriage in your future. Here is our next step in that process........"
Then as you lay out the new rule/procedure/law you can hopefully pull your teen onto the same team with you in a quest to seek the Lord's best.
With humility and cleansing comes a greater grace to walk in the Lord's grace. (James 4:6)