Episode 66: How to Parent Your Wayward Child—with Mary DeMuth

February 28, 2023

Rob & Joanna Teigen

In our previous episode, we discussed how to prepare ourselves to launch our children into adulthood. Continuing on this theme, this episode focuses on parenting young adults, which is particularly important to Rob and me since it’s a topic that’s close to our hearts.

We delve into the heartache that comes with parenting a wayward child and aim to offer you the hope and encouragement you need. Joining us in this discussion is our guest and friend, Mary DeMuth, who is the author of the book, Love, Pray, Listen: Parenting Your Wayward Adult Kids with Joy. Mary is an international speaker, podcaster, and author of over 40 books. She understands firsthand what it’s like to overcome a difficult past and helps others write a new story in their lives.

Mary shares with us:

  • Why our joy shouldn’t be dependent on our children’s decisions
  • The role our convictions should and shouldn’t have in our relationship with our children
  • How having a wayward child can bring you closer to Jesus
  • And more!

We hope you enjoy this conversation!

Links:

 

Our Takeaways:

1) Cultivate conversation and connection. It takes practice to be a good listener. Instead of looking for opportunities in conversations to point out our own rightness, we need to look for points of connection. View the purpose of conversation to build connection and let your child know they are loved.

2) Err on the side of love. Believe it or not, our job as parents is not to be the Holy Spirit in their lives. We can feel like we have to express our convictions to our children, but the reality is that they likely already know them. If you need to express your beliefs, do so only once. Your job as a parent is to pray for your child and be a part of their life. Continuing to voice your displeasure at their decisions will only create a more significant wedge between you.

3) Find other parents to share your burdens. Although you can’t change the decisions of your wayward children, you still need to find people to encourage and support you. This may look like someone that is committed to praying with you about your child, or it may look like a listening ear that you can express and grieve. It is not easy when our child makes decisions we disagree with; we need to love and support our fellow parents in this season of life.

Meet Our Guest

Mary DeMuth

Mary DeMuth

Mary DeMuth is an international speaker, podcaster, and author of over forty books, fiction, and nonfiction, including her latest book, Love, Pray, Listen: Parenting Your Wayward Adult Kids with Joy. Through God’s healing, Mary has overcome a difficult past to become an authentic example of what it means to live a brand-new story. She loves to help others “re-story” their lives through the books she writes. Mary lives in Texas with her husband of 30 years and is Mom to three adult children.

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