Parenting teens can be a tricky thing. It has both extremes of great joy when our kids experience victories yet also can be a time of worry and semi-panic when we are not entirely sure that we have the whole story about a situation. This uncertainty is just simply part of the journey for the parent of a teenager. I say this because every mom and dad who has emerged sane and intact after weathering their child's teen years knows full well that the nature of parenthood during the this era is that we are not always one hundred percent aware of all that is going on in our child's life. Why is that? Because deception is just part of the territory of the teen years....plain and simple.

Our challenge therefore is to make a basic decision. As parents, we have two choices....we can either stick our head in the sand and play Mr. or Mrs. Ostrich and pretend that all is well and just have a " I don't want to know" philosophy or we can strap in and start to dig and become a Private Investigator. What I mean by that is we can make sure that we have access to social media passwords, we follow up and check to make sure that those wonderful offspring of ours were indeed at their friend's house, or at the library, or wherever they claimed they were going to be. We take a tour around their bedroom now and then and have a peek in the drawers, in the closet, just in general. Is that an invasion of privacy? Hardly ! In fact, it is impossible for a parent to invade their child's privacy...at least when they are under age eighteen and living in our home. Anyone who is gasping or aghast right now reading this shouldn't be...because this is what a wise and smart parent will do - especially in today's culture.

Many times while raising our brood, I experienced a strong mother's instinct ( for lack of a better term) concerning a certain situation. I call it an " inner voice." Something just did not sound right and facts were not adding up. Mom and Dad..whenever you have that uneasy feeling , you can trust your instincts that something is amiss. Countless times I followed up on mom's intuition and I am so glad that I did. Usually our kids were up to something where had it gone unchecked, could have very easily resulted in a problem going from bad to worse.

There are usually signs - your child lunges for their cell phone when you reach for it. Your teen immediately changes the computer screen once you walk into the room. Your son or daughter is very protective and defensive of you entering their room and looking around whether they are there or not. When you ask their friend who they claimed to be with the night before how they enjoyed their time at the library studying together, the friend looks confused and surprised by your question. When you thank a fellow parent for having your child over for dinner, they give you a blank stare, not understanding what you are talking about. When they leave in the car and tell you that they are going to Pizza Hut with some friends for a couple hours, and you drive by and their car is nowhere to be seen in the parking lot. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

Right about now, many of you are thinking " Wow, you were one crazy parent - All of this stalking, snooping, and detective work is not necessary." Really? Well, I had normal kids and chances are you have normal kids and take my word for it as a mom who is on the other side of the tunnel...It is not only necessary, it is crucial and can be life saving for your children.

We live in a twisted and confused culture. Our young people are being bombarded at every turn by a tempting and vile culture and society. Do we have kids who truly want to do right ? Sometimes. Sometimes not. For those times where they can be headed down the wrong path, God puts a warning bell inside of us as parents and when He gently rings it, we need to hear it. Even more important than hearing it, we need to heed it. Our child's lives and future depend on listening to that inner voice, that instinct, and acting upon it.

Do you hear that voice ? Are you listening to it? Or are you pushing it down and trying to quiet it ? Just give it some thought....your child's life is at stake.