Creating ‘FeelSafe’ Moments

Mom drops off the last kid in the carpool and her 15-year-old slides into the front seat. “Mom, when you were my age, did you ever like a boy and he didn’t like you back?” Many moms would pinch themselves at this moment. For some reason my daughter isn’t staring at her phone… she’s talking to me! What prompted her to open up? What helped her feel safe? Parents experience these moments every once in a while, moments when, for… Read more

3 Essentials to Talking with Today’s Teens

This situation isn’t uncommon. A mom sits at dinner with her two disinterested teens, slumped over their plates. She desperately wants to communicate with them, but wonders how she can draw out more than just a shrug of the shoulders or unintelligible grunts. Have you tried talking about poop? NPR posted an article this week, If You Want To Teach Kids History, Try Grossing Them Out First. Author Sarah Albee has been using this technique in her books for years… Read more

12 Questions to Ask Your Teenagers

One of the biggest complaints I’ve been hearing from parents recently is, “My kid won’t talk with me?” Parents want to open windows to meaningful communication in the home… but they can’t seem to get more than one word answers out of their kids. Here’s 12 questions that provoke meaningful conversation. Read more

Smoke Weed, Drink Shots… Why Should I Stop?

Light up that marijuana, order another round of shots, why would I want to stop partying? That’s the message of a hit song and music video that has crawled to the top of the charts, currently riding in the top 10 of Spotify, Billboard and iTunes. But you’d never know it at first listen. The song is called Turn Down for What, by DJ Snake and Lil’ Jon. It has a beat much like the popular Harlem Shake, but with… Read more

Which Listener Are You?

Two teenagers each sit down in front of an adult in two totally separate venues. In each situation an adult asks questions and the teenager responds. In one of these situations the teenager is freed to express himself and literally can’t stop talking. In the other situation the teenager clams up immediately. What’s the difference? Maybe you’ve experienced this. You’re trying to engage a teenager in conversation, but he or she immediately puts up a wall and you feel like… Read more

5 Ways to Wean Teens from Screens

I’ve rarely met a parent who claims, “I love how much time my kids spend glued to their phones!” Fact is, most the research emerging is revealing the more time kids spend communicating through screens, the more difficult it is for them to communicate face-to-face. Many studies show, young people who are clocking in more hours of screen time have less close friends. As one expert puts it, “The result is a decline in intimate friendships. Instead, many young people… Read more

Spielberg’s Gospel

Easter is a time of reflection and a time to think about the sacrifice Jesus paid for us. Here’s a powerful perspective of that Gospel story. I’ve seen the Gospel presented many ways, but I always find it interesting to see it through the eyes of someone who has never heard the good news before. You may find it surprising to find that Spielberg presented the Gospel in one of his movies– quite clearly. The movie is Spielberg’s 1997 film… Read more

Getting Teenagers Talking about Columbine

This week I’ve seen the word “Columbine” appearing in hundreds of articles. Why? Present tragedy reminds us of trials we’ve endured in the past. It’s interesting to look back at events like Columbine and learn from them. I find that most young people today become acutely engaged whenever I mention Columbine or rampages like the one in PA this week. Current events like this can often cause a paradigm shift in the lives of teens. What a great opportunity for… Read more

Shame on World Vision?

Shame on World Vision? Shame on us. If by chance you were camping in the Himalayas this week, here’s the skinny: A few days ago International world relief organization World Vision decided to “hire gay Christians in same sex marriages.” In response, evangelical Christians began pulling their support for World Vision, which, according to some sources with contacts at World Vision, resulted in thousands of children losing their sponsorships. Then late Wednesday, March 26th, World Vision reversed its decision, posting,… Read more

Put away your phone… Mom!

The number one complaint I hear from parents today: “My kid can’t go five minutes without looking at her stupid phone!” This isn’t surprising in a world where about three quarters of teens now have smartphones and are mobile internet users. How can a 16-year-old with 387 Instagram followers possibly go an entire dinner without their phone buzzing at least once? And when a phone beckons, we must answer, right? Do you? Forget teens for a second. In a world… Read more


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