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Parenting Teens: Take Them Up Mount Everest

Imagine that you've chosen to scale Mount Everest. You've shelled out sixty thousand dollars to your Sherpa guides. After a few days, you finally arrive at twenty-six thousand feet above sea- level and are preparing to enter "the death zone." (If a climber is going to die on Everest, it's most likely to happen between twenty-six thousand feet and the summit.) Up until this point, you've been climbing well and feeling great. You've been doing so well, in fact, that your guides inform you that, because of your excellent physical conditioning and clear mountaineering skills, they're going back down to base camp and let you finish the climb on your own. How would you react? I'd be furious! I didn't pay sixty thousand dollars to get from sea level to twenty- six thousand feet. I paid to be guided through the death zone.

In some ways, the teen years are like that final stage of the climb. Teenagers are making decisions that can have an impact their entire lives. They need the love and guidance of their parents—the teen years are the worst time to push their parents away. Yet that's exactly what happens in millions of homes.

Possible Preaching Angles:

Parenting; Mentoring; Discipling—This story was originally written to encourage the parents of teenagers, but it also applies to the process of mentoring and discipling other people.

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