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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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...

Read More

Teenage Brain 101

“You may be wondering what your son is thinking…The answer is, he’s not.”  David says often in our parenting seminar, Raising Boys and Girls.  You probably remember that stage with your son.  He would put marbles up his nose and try to flush a matchbox car down the toilet.  His lack of thinking ended him up in trouble quite often.  If you have a teenager, son or daughter, it can feel much the same.  

What is she thinking that she can text and drive at the same time and not have an accident?

What is he thinking that he doesn’t have to do any of his school work and he’ll be “fine"...

Read More

A Cure for Entitlement

"Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."                Luke 6: 37-38,  The Message

When my daughter turned thirteen, she began to reveal greater and greater evidence that she was in the throws of adolescence.  Some mornings we’d wake to find the little girl we’d known since birth - kind, compassionate, responsive and delightful.  Other days, we’d wake to someone else.  This other person looked like my daughter, but..

Read More

Technology Tuesday: What if I haven’t Been On Top of My Kid’s Technology?

We just finished teaching a series of parenting classes with a great group of parents.  Sissy spoke on Taming the Technology Monster.  One of the more common questions she was asked after the class was “what should I do if I haven't been checking my kids’ history or have access to their accounts on social media?  If I go back and ask for that now, won’t they see that as an invasion of their privacy?”

The first answer we always give is “it’s never too late..."

Read More

What We Wish We Had Known

In Raising Girls, we call early adolescence “The Narcissistic Years.”  They are, obviously, thinking about themselves and what other people are thinking about them pretty constantly.  I recently spent time with a group of kids who were emerging from those narcissistic years.  We had a conversation about things they wish someone had told them growing up.  (My secret guess is that someone did…they were just too narcissistic to hear.) Continue Reading

Read More

What Is Your Teenager Doing This Summer?

“I have a new philosophy.  There’s just no point.  There’s no purpose to anything.  So I might as well make things count when I’m young.  Enjoy myself while I can.  That kind of thing.”

The young woman who said these words to me went on to say, “I mean, Christians would say the purpose of life is to ‘Advance the Gospel.’ (She has obviously heard those words several times before).  And I’m a Christian still…sort of.  But that kind of purpose sounds boring to me.”

This 16 year-old was counting down the days till school ended.  She was ready for the summer.  And I was more than concerned about her summer.  More than concerned about her, actually, in general.  As Melissa has told our staff for years, the kids who we need to worry about the most are the kids who don’t believe that their lives matter.  It’s not the ones who are angry so much as the ones who are just nothing.  They don’t feel anything and don’t want to feel anything.  The ones who don’t know purpose.READ MORE

Read More