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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Technology Tuesday: Raising Boys and Girls Podcast

ANNOUNCING SEASON 2 OF OUR PODCAST ON MONDAY, APRIL 22ND! Check back on our site or wherever you download podcasts to get our latest season of what used to be called Are My Kids on Track but is now Raising Boys and Girls. You can also head over to our website for downloadable discussion questions and a discussion guide.

One of our very favorite things in the past year is being out on the road at your churches and schools and hearing that you’ve downloaded the Are My Kids on Track podcast…

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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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How do I Help My Daughter/Son Develop Healthy Friendships?

Just like girls develop physically and mentally, they also develop socially. (Boys do, too…although their social development looks a little different than girls. We’ll let David tackle that one!)

As they develop, I believe there are a few important truths to instill in them across the ages. But, keep in mind, it is normal for their focus to shift from you…to having a best friend…

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Talking with Teenagers about Relationships

Relationships are foundational for teenagers.  They can bring your adolescent son or daughter more happiness—and more sorrow—than almost anything in their lives in these years.  They have profound power.  We want the teenagers we love to have friends who encourage them, speak truth into their lives, and help them be the best versions of themselves.  If they date at some point while they still live under our roofs, we want those relationships to bring the same…

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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: Parent Cue Live Podcast #87

We love any chance we have to partner with the folks at Parent Cue and Orange! On this week’s Technology Tuesday, Sissy is featured on their Parent Cue Live Podcast, talking about “What to do when kids are mean.” On it, she talks about bullying online and in real life, as well as the magic formula of strength and kindness. She also gives us practical ideas on how to help our kids recognize and strengthen the real friendships in their lives. You can listen here.

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Are My Kids On Track: Helping Kids Discover a Spiritual Foundation

We are good parents, loving parents, parents of the highest intention and unyielding commitment. Our conversations tend to focus on how we can prepare our children to be successful in school or on the team, or about their academic or other accomplishments. We care about their social lives, from playdates to prom dates, and we coach them day to day with hopes that they’ll make good friends, get along with their peers, and step up to do the right thing when the moment calls for leadership. We want them to be emotionally hardy and resilient, to know happiness and…

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Are My Kids On Track: Helping Your Child Discover Who They are in Christ

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” If you’ve seen the movie or read the book The Help, you know these words. You also know the moving scene when they’re spoken. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn Stockett’s heartwarming characters, let me introduce you. The scene takes place in adorable two-year-old Mae Mobley’s bedroom with Aibileen, her beloved housekeeper. Aibileen walks into the room, smile wide and arms outstretched. She takes Mae Mobley into her arms, holds her close, and repeats these words with her: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” They’re words that are foundational. They speak the truth into Mae Mobley’s life of who she is, how God made her, and how…

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Technology Tuesday: Taming the Technology Monster

For several years now, Sissy Goff has been teaching a class called "Taming the Technology Monster."  She’s been passing along important information to parents about raising digital natives.   Daily we sit with parents who comment that managing, overseeing and safeguarding technology is one of the biggest hurdles they face on a daily basis.

Sissy has put the valuable information from this class into a booklet highlighting 8 important principles for parents to circle around.  You can get this book…

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Are My Kids On Track: Helping Kids Learn Mercy

We interrupt this regularly scheduled chapter on spiritual milestones to bring you chapter 11 on Mercy—the chapter most directed toward early adolescence. Because everything about adolescence is, in fact, topsy turvy, this chapter will be, too.

Teenagers live in the here and now. In fact, their normal development mimics many characteristics of AD/HD. A friend of mine whose daughter has AD/HD described her as having two time frames in her mind: now and not now. The same is true for teenagers. Now and not now. And so we’re going to step inside their brains and see life and faith a little more from their perspective in this chapter. No waiting around for building blocks after all the stumbling blocks are over. It’s not that straightforward…

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Storms, Shipwrecks, and Planks of Remembrance: Hopetown Highlights, 5th-6th Grade Camp

“How many of you have fallen down before?  You understand, then.  We try so hard to do something right, and we still fall down.  Your parents encourage you and build you up, and you still fall flat on your face.  That’s the thing about trying to have confidence.  It just doesn’t work for very long.  The Bible says it like this:

We are just as capable of messing it up as they were.  Don’t be so naïve and self-confident.  You’re not exempt.  You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else…

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Be Like A Child, 2nd-4th Grade Camp, Hopetown Highlights

In Matthew 18, the disciples were arguing about who the best among them was.  And then Jesus looked out, pointed to a child and called him over.  The child walked up and Jesus said, “Be like a child.”

In other words, Jesus is saying, “Be like you.”  Be you.  You don’t have to be anything else.  You don’t have to be funny or cool or silly or anything different than exactly who God made you to be.  He made you different than anybody else…

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Happy Summer!

Happy Summer!  

For this Technology Tuesday, we’re wanting to let you in on where we’re heading these days with Raising Boys and Girls' technology! You may have noticed that we’re purposefully trying not to flood your inbox with emails.  But, we’re also trying to put out as much helpful information as we can on social media these days.  We put up activities we think might help you and your kiddos, quotes we think might inspire you, and try to lighten…

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Mother's Day

I have the honor of knowing a woman who has been battling stage 4 cancer for several years.  She is remarkable.  She fights beautifully…not just fights this stupid cancer, but fights for her children in a culture that too often fights against them.  She fights for her faith in a way that inspires me to do the same.  And, in the midst of tremendous struggle and heartache, she fights to maintain the sort of gritty, buoyant, dogged hope that epitomizes who she is.  I want to be more like her.  And can’t say enough what a privilege it is to…

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