Cats and Dogs: a picture of parenting teenagers

“I just realized that while children are dogs—loyal and affectionate—teenagers are cats.

It’s so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around.  It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then, around age 13, your adoring puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears. You won’t see it again until it gets hungry…then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn up its nose at whatever you’re serving, swishing its tail and giving you an aggrieved look until you break out the tuna again.When you reach out to ruffle its head in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare as if it is trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing your dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won’t go on family outings. Since you’re the one who raised it, taught it to fetch, stay and sit on command, you assume you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you’re dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now has the opposite result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away. Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you must learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and affection too. Sit still and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day your grown up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, “You’ve been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you.”

Then, you’ll realize your cat is a dog again.”

Original author unknown


*Coming to Providence Church….. Starting Sunday May 1st we are starting a new Adult Sunday School class on “Parenting Teens” based on a study by Mark Gregston. You WON’T want to miss this!!!

**Check out the Parent Cue Live podcast for some additional great parenting tips and resources



We are so excited that you have found the BRISK Parent Blog!!! We think this is going to be an amazing tool to inform, encourage and equip you as parents , and to keep you connected with the BRISK youth ministry at Providence Church!

For our first post, we simply wanted to share with you a brief vision and purpose for this blog and how we intend to use it!!!!

Blog vision

A brief google search for resources in “parenting teenagers” yields over 21,300,000 results! That makes for a lot of blogs, articles, videos, tips, websites, books, instructional programs, seminars, etc…… YOU GET THE PICTURE! It is truly amazing how the information age continues to inundate us with material. And yet in the middle of all this information, sometimes we find ourselves truly lost.

And that is why we are launching this Parent Blog! We are not world-renown experts in parenting or family matters, we have no doctorate degrees or Ph.D’s, we don’t have our own reality TV show (yet!) and you won’t find our names on the New York Best Seller lists (for now at least)….. BUT…. as the Youth Ministry Team at Providence Church, we do have a heart to see “God’s will be done and His kingdom come” through the youth and families in our community and around the world!!!! And we want to help YOU find resources that will INFORMENCOURAGE and EQUIP you as you parent your teenagers.

So this blog is for YOU, for your children, for your family, for your neighbors, for your relatives, for your community, and for ANYONE who has a teenager in their life that they are invested in. Our kids need us! And we need each other! And we are here to help! We encourage you to continue checking out this blog as we work to provide you with up-do-date articles, reports, trends, media, teaching, and encouragement for you and your family!


***While this blog is specifically designed for parents and families of the BRISK Youth Ministry at Providence Church, we hope that all parents and families that visit this page will be encouraged by what is being shared.