Anything written in italics need not be read aloud.
GATHER FOR THIS LESSON: One blank sheet of paper, pens, print handouts for all youth


Key Scripture: Exodus 20:12

The Set Up
SAY: Okay, here’s what happens to most teens. As you get older, you’ll grow away from your parents and form your own identities. Most of you probably have started already! This can cause stress and rebellion at home. Parents sometimes come off as old-fashioned and too strict. This lesson will help us discuss parent-teen relationships in a positive way—and hopefully help you see that parents and guardians are people, too!
NOTE: Don’t assume that all your kids have traditional two-parent homes.

Get Their Attention
Needed: blank sheet of paper
SAY: I’m going to divide this sheet of paper in half and write down some things that the you would change about your parents or guardians if you could. Just be polite and call out your ideas to me.

Jumpstart them if they need ideas—things like “give me more freedom,” “don’t force me to take piano lessons,” and so on. If they don’t want to get specific, that’s okay.


SAY: Now I’m going to write down some things in the same way as we just did but, this time it’s the things your parents would like to change about you—their kids.
Keep the youth on track—you might have a kid who say, “nothing, I’m perfect.”

SAY: Now we’re going to compare the two lists.
Find similarities and differences.

SAY: Both parents and kids have faults and make mistakes—we’re all human! And parent-child relationships are two-sided—parents and kids will see things differently, and that’s okay. Respect is the key issue when dealing with parents. After all, you are being fed, clothed, driven, and paid for by your parents!

Totally HD
(It’s short for Handout and Discuss)
Pass out the handout, use the following for a discussion after the youth fill out their sheets.

1. This gets youth thinking about what their parents or guardians need the most. It’ll also show you what the youth and their families value the most. Let volunteers share their choices.

2. Allow discussion about where the young people think their relationships with their parents are going. Some youth don’t think it’s cool to get along with their parents, others do. Maybe tell them a few things about your relationship with your parents (when you were younger, of course). How can they improve their relationships with their parents?

3. Emphasize the positive on this item and encourage them to think of the good things their parents do with them and for them. Don’t let this turn into a gripe session.

4. Talk about each of these problem areas and watch for the ones where the most frequent response is true. With these, stop and ask the youth how they could change their situation. For instance, how can they earn their parents trust?
Wrap It Up
SAY: This week I encourage you to see your parents as people, not just parents “The Oppressors”. Remember that relationships take work, even between parents and kids.
Remember that God gave you parents to take care of you and you should be thankful—without them you wouldn’t be here! Try to look at situations from a different angle—from the parents’ perspective. They’re not out to ruin or run your life. God commands us in Exodus 20:12 to honor and obey our parents, even when you don’t feel like it. This command—one of the Ten Commandments—comes with a promise, too. You won’t regret loving and honoring your parents.

Close with a prayer for everyone’s parents or guardians. You begin, then give the kids a few moments to pray silently for their relationships and struggles with their parents.

Begin with,
“Dear Lord help us to be less selfish and think of more than just what “I” want right now…(Pause for silent prayer), Amen.
If you still have time, here’s a little bit “more”
Share “Rags and Brags”. Each youth should take turns sharing a good thing that happened in the last few days and a bad thing in the same time frame. If you’re worried about time – Do one Rag or Brag per person, their choice.


1. If you had enough money to buy any three of the following for your parent or guardian,
which ones would you buy?
• more love
• more patience
• better health
• sense of humor
• fewer worries
• better looks
• more time with me
• more faith in God
• more fun
• more money
• better job
• more energy

2. Place an X on the line below, indicating which direction you are moving in your relationship with your parents.


Closer to parents Away from parents

3. If you were one of the adults who are responsible for you—

What would you do more?

What would you do less?

4. What do you think—T (true) or F (false)?
My parents—
____ are clueless about my problems.
____ fight with each other a lot.
____ like to have fun with me.
____ don’t trust me.
____ like my friends.
____ won’t let me do what my friendsdo.
____ blame me for too much stuff.
____ treat me like a child.
____ give me as much money as I want.
____ pay little attention to my needs.
____ expect way too much of me.
____ don’t care what I do or when.