Shut Out? How to Help Your Teen Open Up.

Everyone says that communication is the key to parenting but what happens when your teen has shut you out? He or she seems to be texting their friends but never talking to you. Bit by bit you feel like you don’t know what is going on in your son or daughter’s life any more.

As I have said before in a previous blog it seems that my wife is better at getting the girls to talk than I am. She practices some great skills that all the experts suggest. Here are four that work.

Three New Dating Dangers: What Parents Can Do

Digital kids have embraced new ways of relating that should make every parent think twice about the changing rules in the dating game. Face Time, Face Book, Snap Chat, Skype, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Texting create possibilities in relationships that weren’t a concern even just ten years ago. Now they are, and we should probably be talking to our teens about each of them…

My Son/Daughter won’t come to Church: 3 Best Ways to keep them Coming

We lose one third of kids from the Sunday School to the Youth room. We lose another 30% after high school. Despite contemporary worship services, youth programs and small groups for teens, the church is bleeding out youth

It’s one thing to shudder at the statistics but what do you do when it is your son or daughter who doesn’t want to come anymore?

In a pointed conversation with Dave Sawler, author of Before they Say Goodbye, Youth Ministry Unleashed heard the very best things parents, youth ministries and churches can do to make sure that we stop losing teens.

3 Things Parents can do about Teens, Texting and Intimacy

As you have probably noticed, teens are texting instead of calling. They have on average 300 face book friends but few intimate confidants. The result “is a decline in intimate friendships, Patricia Greenfield a UCLA researcher says. Instead, many young people now derive personal support and affirmation from “likes” and feedback to their postings.

“The whole idea behind intimacy is self-disclosure. Now they’re doing self-disclosure to an audience of hundreds.” says Greenfield 

As I talk to parents of teens, they say, “That’s just the way it is. What can we do about it?” What I am learning is that there is a healthy way to help teens communicate better.

3 Surprising Teen Brain Discoveries Every Parent Needs to Know About

I know. The jokes are just too tempting… Don’t get me started….But seriously, scans that neuro-scientists are doing on teens while they are awake in an MRI, are coming up with very important findings for anyone who works with teens or has one in their home.

In a functional MRI machine teens are given various tests, for memory, observing facial expressions, decision making, or emotional responses to certain images. The results have been fascinating but more importantly, they give us a better picture of what is going on insider their heads.

A while back, PBS Frontlines, produced a documentary, Inside the Teenage Brain (watch here) outlining crucial information about how teens are changing, thinking, and perceiving. Here are three of their discoveries that I find most useful.

Parents Unleashed: Weekend Edition

Hi Parents of Teens! We have one daughter 17 and another who just turned 20. Getting through the teen years has been an interesting ride. As much as I teach college students how to work with teens all week long, I have been learning how to help teens in my own home.

I don’t claim to be an exceptional parent. My wife has been my coach in a lot of areas, even though I am the one with all of the degrees and have plowed through a mountain of books on the subject. For over a decade I have been leading seminars for parents …still, in some ways, parenting two completely different girls has been a bit of an experiment.

Through trial, error, success and failure we are coming to the end of the teen years but as you all know adolescence doesn’t stop there. If there is any way that I can help you if you are a parent, or you if you are a youth worker working with parents I hope that some of my own journey will give you hope and confidence.

So, to get started I want to quickly share some of the big principles that my wife and I have agreed on for our kids

How to Talk to Your Teenagers About Sex

So your students are surrounded by sex all the time.  It is hard to watch a movie, surf the internet, or pick up a novel without some message about sex being shared.  Some of these messages are healthy, but let’s be honest many are not.  Unfortunately the church has been very poor at being a strong voice in teaching our students about sex.

So the simple question is what are you doing to help your students have a biblical view of their sexuality.