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
The primary reason we have Technology Tuesday’s is to keep you educated. The kids keep us educated, when it comes to technology. We’re often behind the 8 ball…much to our dismay, and sadly, at times, to the detriment of the kids we love. Just this week, we received an email from a dear friend who is a counselor at a school, to tell us of the latest game she’s been hearing kids talk about at her school.
The name of the game is Bendy and the Ink Machine. It looks harmless enough…as so many of them do. It’s available as a game for almost every platform out there—from iOS to Android to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and, basically, wherever your child…Read More
Nothing seems to work as far as consequences for my kids. Help!
Consequences with girls are tricky. First of all, girls are manipulative. Second, they’re smart. And third, they’re manipulative. They’ll find any way to beat the system, if they can…especially girls that are later in the birth order. When it comes to consequences, I believe the three most important ideas are...Read More
David recently had the privilege of being a guest on The Open Door Sisterhood podcast with “longtime friends and authors” Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall. Here’s what they had to say about the episode.
“Is parenting in this day and age difficult? Well, let’s start with the statistic that, currently, in the U.S. we have the highest numbers of anxiety in kids than any other time in history. Anxiety, along with depression are at a peak point. According to the CDC, the suicide rate is triple what it was in 2000. Substance abuse? Loneliness? All on the rise...Read More
Those of you who follow us know we enjoy a good “family experiment” -something you can do together with your kids, that supports connection, generates conversation and develops critical thinking.
Here’s a short video to watch with your kids who have a cell phone. Have some conversation after you watch the video, and be sure to listen for what your kids have to say before you share your opinion or observations.Read More
We love introducing you to our amazing staff at Daystar. We happen to believe we work with the most talented, invested, passionate group of folks, who have such a heart for kids and families. They are a huge part of why we love the work we do so much. Getting to work alongside such amazing people (and dogs!) makes the meaningful work we do even more extraordinary. Today we’re excited to introduce you to Alex Hopkins. Alex does amazing work with boys of all ages. One of his many talents includes integrating play therapy into the work he does with children and families. He sees boys on an individual basis, and leads some wonderful groups with elementary aged boys all the way through high school.
Today he shares some needed thoughts on navigating the world of video games, and some insight on what gaming accomplishes for boys…Read More
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…Read More
As much as technology feels like a beast we’re trying to tame, we’re wanting to identify ways we can make it work for us. And ways our kids can use it for good.
One of those ways can be to create a Gratitude Album. I challenge many of the adolescents I work with to create this on their phone. I encourage younger kids to build this on an ipad of their own, or…
How do I help my daughter find balance?
Psychologist Leonard Sax says, “More and more boys are developing an epicurean ability to enjoy themselves—to enjoy video games, pornography, food and sleep—but they often don’t have the drive and motivation to succeed in the real world… outside their bedroom. More and more of their sisters have that drive and motivation in abundance—but they don’t know how to relax, have fun and enjoy life.”1
Girls feel a tremendous amount of pressure. They feel pressure to make good grades, to make good friends, to appear kind, and fun and strong and independent and responsible and brave, and pretty…all at the same time. And, what I hear in my office…Read More
We’ve long suspected there to be a correlation between screen use and happiness. We now have our hands on even more data to confirm an adolescent’s psychological well-being decreases the more hours they spend on screens. The newest findings align with previous studies linking frequent screen use to teenage anxiety and depression.
We’d strongly recommend you spend a few minutes reading about the findings from this recent study. Take a close look at…Read More
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
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.Read More
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…Read More
Teenagers are always up for an adventure. In fact, being a teenager is all about adventure . . . risk-taking, thrill-seeking, pushing the edges of the envelope. At least it is, in their minds . . . and maybe even literally in the wiring of their brains. But, we’ll come back to idea that a little later.
It’s the adventure first . . . or it’s what they think of as adventure. One teenager told me that she struggled with her life because it wasn’t what high school was “supposed” to look like. According to today’s media, teenagers are “supposed” to be sitting in hotel bars, drinking underage, trying to find out which friend murdered another and deciding which zombie or vampire is…Read More
Vaping and Juuling are some of the more trendy practices in adolescent culture today. The acceleration of vaping was highlighted in a 2016 report from the US surgeon general, citing a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students from 2011-2015. Another survey revealed that 1.7 million high school students reported having used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.
A teenaged boy recently reported to me “my dad knows teenagers are going to drink and smoke, he just wants me to do it responsibly.” I was grieved to hear this boy’s father had set the bar so low for him...Read More
“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…Read More
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…Read More
On this next Monday and Tuesday, Sissy and David are honored to be guests on Focus on the Family’s broadcast. They’ll be talking about the 4 emotional milestones that are highlighted in Are My Kids on Track:
You can check it…Read More
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…Read More