Talking with Teenagers: Sports

I recently saw a movie called “The Miracle Season.”  If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d highly recommend watching it with the teenagers in your life. It can create some great conversation around not only the plot, but many of the conversations and lines contained therein.  In fact, many sports movies can.  They tug at our heart strings from an underdog kind of place, but also from a place of remembering the messages we heard…

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Talking with Teenagers: Substance Abuse

Just heard for the I’m not sure how many’th time in my 25 years counseling kids, “I don’t know why my parents got mad at me.  It wasn’t my weed.”  You can substitute alcohol, or Juuls, or any other substance that’s trending these days.  And, honestly, in all of those years, that statement has almost never been true.  If you find a substance in your child’s room, or in their car, chances are it really is theirs.  Or, at least 99% of the time it belongs to your child, not the friend they’re trying to “keep out of trouble.”  They are not keeping it for someone else and wouldn’t risk,,,

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Talking with Teenagers: Big Decisions & Big Questions

As I’m writing this, I’ve talked to multiple kids in the last few weeks who have had to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives:  where they’ll go to college.  But, ultimately, there are big decisions for the adolescents we love to make often.  Will she take AP or regular classes?  Will he apply for Governor’s School?  What clubs will she join?  Which friends will he choose?  And then, of course, there are the big decisions we hope that will involve a lot of “No’s” to the culture around them, and a lot of “Yes’s” to God.

How can we help?  The first thing, maybe the most important thing to remember…

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Talking With Teenagers: Inspiring Social Justice in the Adolescent You Love

It is in a teenager’s bones to want to take risks.  The more we help them find their way to appropriate risk-taking behavior, the less likely they are to… engage in unhealthy risk-taking behavior.  Social justice is one way that many teenagers I know take healthy—and even hopeful kinds of risks.  I see teenage boys who coach sports for underprivileged children.  I know adolescent girls who go on mission trips every spring and summer, to countries and children they’ve taken to heart.  I have one teenage girl I counsel who is committed to spending her senior year doing all she can to change the culture of her school by…

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Talking With Teenagers

With parents of teenagers, I have two words I repeat over and over in my counseling office:  empathy and questions.  Basically, we talk at teenagers way too much.  We lecture more than have conversations.  And conversations are honestly what they need most.  Conversations help them connect the dots, rather than us connecting the dots for them.  And our dots won’t lead them into adulthood or carry them into college.  They need to learn…

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Technology Tuesday: App Update

I was teaching a class on Taming the Technology Monster last month, when the subject of came up.  If you haven’t come across it before, see our recent blog about the app that has taken the elementary and middle schools by storm!  

We do have an update that a kind woman at my seminar told me about that she referred to as “quite dangerous.”  The app that enables you to create your own music video and share it now has a streaming component...

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Technology Tuesday: Pornography & Masturbation

Take a look at these resources, and how we can make technology work for the adolescents and young adults we care about.

1.  Brain Buddy App

    Enough silent suffering.

    It's time to get back to rebuild your life.

    The result of over 3000 hours of patient study, Brain Buddy rewires your brain to how it was before you got hooked on porn...

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    Teenage Brain 102

    You may remember our question from last week:

    What is my teenager thinking?

    And the answer:  They’re not.  At least, not in the ways we might be thinking they’re thinking.  See last weeks’ blog for exactly what is happening inside of the brain of your teenager.  In the midst of all of those things, he’s got a lot of strikes against him walking into a new school year.  And so does your teenage daughter.  Here are a few things you can do to help...

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    It's Not My Alcohol


    It’s not my alcohol, Mom.  I’m just keeping it for a friend.”

    As a counselor who has been working with teenagers for over twenty years, let me tell you the truth.  These words aren’t it.  Teenagers can come up with a million excuses for whose alcohol you’ve just discovered in their room…and why they have it.  And when it’s your child, you’d much rather believer a lie than the truth that your child has been drinking...

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    A Teen's Perspective On Our World

    At, we love kids.  Obviously.  We also love to feature kids’ voices.  When we speak at parenting events, we always remind parents that it’s not so much that we’re experts.  It’s just that we sit with kids, day in and day out, and learn from them.

    These wise words are written by a high school friend of ours, and one who has struggled herself.  They’re from a school project written in response to a piece in the New York Times.  Her words serve as a reminder…of how the culture has changed for kids today and what they want from their parents.  Talk to your kids.  Use feelings words—around the house and around the dinner table...

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    Expect Teens Part 2 (and Still for Teens)

    As we talked about last week, we would say the words expect and respect have quite a bit to do with each other in the world of teenagers.

    1) Expect them to speak to you civilly.  They will have an attitude.  They will roll their eyes from time to time.  And, often, teens don’t know how to express their frustration respectfully.  They need your help...

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