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February 3, 2020
#2185 Sometimes a healthy pursuit can have unhealthy manifestations. Like trying to belong and fit in. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. When your teen seeks personal validation from peers… this isn’t inherently bad. It may look like rebellion to you. It may lead to inappropriate behaviors. And some strange choices in clothing and music at times. But in reality, your teen is just a little off track. So …how do you steer a kid that’s headed in the wrong direction? Well, let your child’s choices teach him the truth. If he looks like a dork, he sounds like an idiot, he acts like a jerk… eventually… he can’t continue in that direction without facing deeper trouble. Let him face those consequences without rescuing him. That’ll do more to change his future behavior than anything you can ever say. Failure is an irreplaceable education for living in the real world!
February 1, 2020
#575 – Student Story: Alexa Ever wonder why your son or daughter hangs around with a questionable group of friends? Are you worried that your teen is being dragged down by his peers? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston helps parents make sense of their child’s choice of friends and protect their teen from choosing the wrong crowd.
January 31, 2020
#2184 I work with troubled kids. Teens who’ve lost their way. And their parents often ask me what to do when their teen is arrested. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Well… I believe in allowing a child to own the consequences of his behavior. I believe it’s best to not bail a kid out right away… especially if he truly deserved being arrested in the first place. It’s a tough decision, but letting your child sit for a day or two in jail may be the lesson that’s needed. And correction at a younger age is far better than imprisonment for a lifetime as an adult. Think about it. Jail time might just speak to your son or daughter louder than you ever could! It’ll bring a sobering sense of reality to the choices… and consequences!
January 30, 2020
#2183 When you have an older teen spinning out of control and not responding to your discipline… it may mean you have a very important choice before you. You can let that teen stay at home and wreak havoc in the household. Or… you can ask him to leave. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. It’s a difficult decision. But parents shouldn’t allow one out- of- control teen to destroy the good things going for the rest of the family. Sometimes the best option for an older teen is to release them. Let them go. And as parents, we should pray for their growth and development in the world… in ways they weren’t grasping at home. Scary. Yes. But sometimes a child won’t listen to our advice …until he gets to the end of himself.
January 29, 2020
#2182 At Heartlight… our residential counseling center for troubled teens… one of my jobs is to repair the horse fences. I need to ensure that the boundaries are strong. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. These sensitive… and sometimes stubborn… creatures need to know where they can go, and where they can’t. If a horse breaks any part of a fence, I fix it. When they constantly push on the fence to the point it becomes weak… I reinforce it with stronger wood. Well, personal boundaries are like good fences… they offer protection and help define what’s good. Establishing …and constantly reinforcing… strong boundaries with your teen will insure that even if they push their limits, they won’t get lost, or tread into unknown and dangerous territory. So mom … dad … keep buildin’ and protecting those fences! Some day …your kids will thank you.
January 28, 2020
#2181 Change is tough. And, usually, change creates all kinds of conflict. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. God has called you, as a parent, to work toward better things for your family… even if that means instigating stuff that makes your kids uncomfortable. You’re standing for the good, honorable and necessary things that will make your home a better place to live in today… and years into the future. In fact… your decisions may even impact the family for generations! So… let the conflict come. I’d even encourage you to embrace conflict. Bring it on! It’s a sign that real change is happening! You have the power to point your family in the right direction. So, be encouraged, mom or dad… God’s working through you… even in the conflict!
January 27, 2020
#2180 Matthew 6:27 says, Can any of you add a single hour to the span of your life by worrying? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Well, let’s be honest. No matter how hard we try …it’s really hard not to worry about your kids. Especially when they’re acting out in unacceptable ways. It’s scary to watch your child choose the wrong things, and struggle as a result. But part of the reason God may allow your child to struggle through some things is to teach you to believe that He is in control. And that you can trust Him. Here’s another verse for you. Jeremiah 17 says … Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord… for he will be like a tree planted by the water… and will not fear when the heat comes. Its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a year of drought. Do you find yourself weary from worry? Relax. God can be trusted.
January 25, 2020
#565 – Student Story: Tucker How do you react when conflict rears its ugly head in your family? Do you yell? Get defensive? Give the silent treatment? Get emotional? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston presents seven ways to argue effectively and use conflict to your advantage.
January 24, 2020
#2179 Some years ago at the residential counseling center for troubled teens… called Heartlight… we helped a girl through some particularly tough issues. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. After a lot of hard work and the unconditional love of her parents, she was able to move on to a new life with both joy and celebration. And just recently, I tearfully watched her say her wedding vows. The bride wore a ring on both hands… one that we gave her to represent victory in her personal life… and her new wedding band. At a special moment, she said to me, “I wouldn’t have my wedding ring without first having the ring you gave me.” It’s a reminder that a teen’s future isn’t cast in stone. It can be steered in the right direction no matter how off course it’s been in the past. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Keep believing that your sons and daughters can turn emerge to be all God created them to be.
January 23, 2020
#2178 The world our kids live in today is far different from the one you and I grew up in. As kids move into their teen years, they face unimaginable pressure to turn away from the values you’ve worked so hard to instill in their lives. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Raising kids in church, home school or a Christian school is no guarantee they’ll turn out as the godly, refined adult you’re hoping for. In fact… many parents wake up one morning to discover their teen has changed into a person they don’t even know. Is that your experience? Doing everything “right” …only to find it didn’t work? Teens today need moms and dads who’re constantly adjusting their parenting style to fit the times. If things aren’t working… don’t keep doing what you’ve always done! Change it up!
January 22, 2020
#2177 I’ve met parents who post a list of rules on the fridge… and expect the kids to fall in line. But more often than not… that piece of paper does nothing more than annoy and embarrass the kids. And frankly …it doesn’t work. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. In the teen years, nothing’s more important than developing relationships between parents and kids. Because rules without relationship causes rebellion. So here’s what I suggest. Take time to get with your teen over breakfast or dinner or coffee. And do it every week. Regular, intentional time… where you’re lookin’ each other in the eyes and letting your teen talk. It’ll foster the atmosphere where healthy relationships can thrive. Over time, you’ll find this weekly get- together will be a place to share your own stories. Your own faults. Even a place where your teen will talk about deeper concerns, life questions and dreams. You’ll be surprised how rules take care of themselves …once there’s a relationship!
January 21, 2020
#2176 A man struggling with terminal cancer once told me, “I try not to stand too long on the mountain, and I don’t sit too long in the valley. I live one day at a time and try to keep my attitude somewhere near the middle.” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. In a situation that was totally out of his control… this man trusted God for one day at a time. And I’ll tell ya, he experienced a deep sense of peace… even in his darkest days! Perhaps you’re in a situation where things are dark, as well. It may not be cancer… but the anger, disrespect and tension at home has worn you down. My hope is that this quick word from a cancer patient… will be a reminder to you. Today, live just one day at a time. Stay near the middle. And know that in the midst of the chaos at home, God is still in control.
January 20, 2020
#2175 When a teenager is causing problems in the family, he isn’t the only one in need! Moms and dads desperately need support, as well. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. In the heat of relentless family conflict, most moms and dads become battered, worn down… or even devastated. In fact, a teen spiraling out of control can lead to the break up of an otherwise strong marriage. I’ve known lots of parents who are dying on the inside… but are too embarrassed to reveal their weaknesses to others. If that’s you… get over it! You gotta talk to someone! Get coffee with a trusted friend and spill out your heart.
January 18, 2020
#564 – Student Story: Santana Do you love your kids conditionally or unconditionally? Seems like a silly question, right? Unconditionally, of course! But you might be surprised by how many teens say their parents only love them up to a certain point. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston explains how to communicate unconditional love to your teen.
January 17, 2020
#2174 There’s no perfect formula for bringing a teenager to maturity. But… there are three ingredients that’ll give you a good head start! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. First. Unconditional Love lets them know there’s nothing they can do to make you love them more, and nothing they can do to make you love them less. Second. Grace gives them room to fail …and then encouragement to learn from their mistakes. And third. Truth is the correcting influence that balances their actions with what’s right and wrong. Living out the truth also means that consequences come when they step over the line! Love, grace and truth. Take those three… flood your home and relationships with them. It’s the foundation for raising healthy, godly and mature young adults.
January 16, 2020
#2173 Teens do a lot of empty-headed communicating …especially by cell phone, IM, Facebook and text. In fact, it’s not unusual to see a group of teens sitting in the same room …sending text-messages to one another… instead of just having normal conversations! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Yeah …this new generation knows how to communicate, and they have every device imaginable to stay in touch. BUT they don’t always know how to make a personal connection. It’s not something they’ll learn …unless you make a point to teach them. So open your home for an evening of food and fun, playing board games, creating something, or just talking. Challenge them to leave their cell phones in their pockets. Look for ways to model for your teen the value of connecting with friends and family …without defaulting to their electronics.
January 15, 2020
#2172 In order for parents to have a healthy relationship with their teen… it’s necessary to create a safe harbor where healthy relationships can develop. So… does your child sense your unconditional love? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Relationships thrive in an atmosphere of unqualified acceptance. That means… even when your child blows it big time, or doesn’t respond the way you’d like …you don’t threaten to abandon him. He knows, without question, that your love is forever. Every teen has a secret longing to belong. He wants a relationship that helps him discover who he is… and who he’ll become. Your child realizes this sense of significance through relationships that will never end …first with you, here on earth, and with God for all of eternity. So… are you creating space for healthy relationships? Make your home a safe harbor from the storms of life.
January 14, 2020
#2171 Everyone has those moments when they don’t handle things well, and even the best parent loses it once in awhile. But if losing your cool has become the new normal… maybe it’s time to hit the pause button… and get some help. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Ephesians 6:4 says, Fathers, don’t provoke your children to wrath. When a parent provokes their teen to the point of exasperation… it’s like pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire. Furthermore, a parent’s verbal barbs inflict wounds that are deep. In fact, your angry outbursts may leave scars on your teen for years to come. So here’s a challenge to you today. The next time something conflict occurs and you can feel your blood begin to boil …take a moment to gather yourself. And take this time- tested advice. It comes straight from the wisdom of Scripture: Don’t provoke your children to wrath.
January 13, 2020
#2170 When was the last time you humbled yourself … and spoke those two giant words … I’m sorry? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. I once witnessed an entire family break down and sob when the father asked each member to forgive him for the way he’d handled himself in their relationship. He extended the olive branch with intensity and emotion. It was a humble, sincere apology, and a good step toward restoring his position with his children. Every heart in the room melted …and anger and resentment began to lift. I challenge you to take the dad’s example. Do you need to admit responsibility for building walls in your family? For contributing to miscommunication? It’s time to start steering your home in the right direction, and fostering respect in those you love. Your teen may seem like a fortress with high walls and a locked gate. Impenetrable. But seeking forgiveness may unlock the door to his or her heart. Just say those two powerful words … I’m sorry.
January 11, 2020
#563 – Student Story: Sarah Grandparents can have a profound influence on their grandkids during the teen years. And those years can develop into rich connection and long-lasting relationship. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston shares how grandparents fulfill a specific and vital role in a teen’s life.
January 10, 2020
#2169 There’s nothing more destructive to your relationship with your child than constant lecturing. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Whenever conflict occurs, if your knee-jerk reaction is to lecture, you’re communicating that you don’t think your teen can think for himself. And if you condemn him for his mistakes, you’re actually reinforcing that you don’t really respect him. That’s not your intent …but it’s what your child is hearing. So what can be done? Well, stop lecturing and start listening. In fact, start today! Right now, even. Try it for a day. Don’t flip out, argue or lecture. Button up your lips. Just let it go. It’ll take a lot of discipline on your part, but you may discover it’s just what your teen needs. Then watch what happens. Before long …your teen will return the favor and start listening to you.
January 9, 2020
#2168 Let me ask you a question. Are you content with whatever your teen wants to do with his or her life? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Teens often feel that they can’t live up to their parents’ expectations. In their mind, it’s just impossible… even if your hopes are totally reasonable. So let me ask the question again. Will you be authentically content with whatever they tell you they want to do in life? After all your hard work to get them where you think they need to be, will you be happy if they decide to pursue something other than your personal preference? It’s wise to begin talking about expectations …both from your perspective, and from your teen’s point of view. Develop a heart for your teen’s desires… even if it’s not what you’d prefer. It’s the key to keeping your relationship with your child authentic, growing and healthy.
January 8, 2020
#2167 Life has a way of dishing out trouble, doesn’t it? And if you’re dealing with a struggling teen in your home, I guarantee …your plate is full. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. In Romans 8, we read… And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Sounds like a conflicting statement. Life dishes out trouble… and all things work together for good. Hmmm. How do we connect those dots? Let me suggest to you that the pain of dealing with a teen spinning out of control… can lead to a new understanding of God’s sovereignty. In fact, I’m guessing that last night’s argument with your teen… or the tensions between the siblings… is exactly the thing that keeps you on your knees in prayer. So, yeah …life dishes out trouble. But all things work together for those who love God. No matter what’s happening in your home… God promises that He’s working behind the scenes.
January 7, 2020
#2166 Families call me all the time and say, “We need help! What do we do to fix our kid?” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. You know what my answer is? Well, there’s very little we can do to fix our kid. You gotta turn that notion around. What we’ve got to focus on is fixing ourselves. In the process… we’re allowing God to do something with our child way beyond our own resources. So let’s make this practical. Is there something in your family you’d like to be different? Maybe a kid that’s disrespecting others or blowin’ off your rules. The problem’s so obvious. And, of course, should result in consequences. But what’s not quite as obvious… is what God is trying to teach us. Could it be you’ve become part of the problem… instead of part of the solution? Quit trying to “fix” your kid. And you’re your family’s transformation begin with you!
January 6, 2020
#2165 Pain is predictable. You don’t have to guess. Guaranteed. It’s coming. Because… anytime you confront foolish thinking, when two value systems clash, or have a contest of opinions and ideas… it’s painful. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. Moms and dads …if you have teens or pre-teens, you know what I’m talkin’ about. Anytime your kid lashes out… pain is just around the corner. When your authority needs to be re-established, when wrong motives and desires are exposed, or when your teen is confronted, limited, or restricted… hey …it’s painful. But don’t let pain’s predictability keep you from doing your job. Effective parenting doesn’t mean you need to make everyone feel better …or keep everyone happy. In fact, conflict may be the bold blinking neon sign that God’s healing work has begun in your family! So, when pain shows up in your home, don’t run from it. Use it.
January 4, 2020
562 – Student Story: Kaylee Sure, change can take place at any time. But there’s just something about a new year that inspires personal reflection and reevaluation. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston challenges parents to look back and look ahead by letting go of old parenting methods that no longer work and embracing newer, more effective ones.
January 1, 2020
#2162 As you’re flipping the calendar from 2019 to 2020… it’s the perfect time to think through your goals and desires for the family. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston… with Parenting Today’s Teens. What do you want to change in your family in the coming year? Do you need to rearrange your schedule in order to have a weekly one- on- one time with your teen? Or maybe… it’s time to get some outside help for your family. Take a moment today to think through the tangible positive steps you can take in the coming year. Then… sit down with the kids and ask them what changes they’d like to make in the family dynamic. You might be surprised by their response! Here’s your chance. Be intentional. Get a fresh start!
December 31, 2019
#2161 Financial responsibility is a necessary life skill that even most adults haven’t mastered. Which is why it’s so important to start teaching our teens at an early age. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Teens desperately need to learn how to manage their money. And that’s where Mom and Dad come in! For example, at age 13, have your teen begin to manage a checking account and pay for minor expenses out of a weekly allowance. At 15, encourage them to do some babysitting or mow a neighbor’s lawn. And when they start driving, make them pay for gas and insurance with they money they earn from a weekend job. By the time they’re adults, they’ll be well prepared to manage their finances wisely and responsibly. Mom, Dad … hear me out … and start teaching your teen how to manage money!
December 30, 2019
#2160 Growing up, I always had a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for people in positions of authority. But kids today don’t see it that way! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Our teens have seen it all. They’ve watched politicians lie and cheat, church leaders fall from grace, and role models make bad decisions. And as a result, teens today have become jaded toward authority. Just because you wear a crisp uniform and badge … doesn’t mean you earn their respect. So if your teen is struggling to respect others, be the positive example he desperately needs. It’s difficult to talk about respect if your child doesn’t think that you’re worthy of it yourself. And when they learn to show respect at home, they’ll be able to carry it into every other area of life.
December 28, 2019
561 – Student Story: Drew We’ve all been parenting with different degrees of success. So how does your parenting style compare to others? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston identifies six common parenting styles that can end up backfiring on you! Discover why they don’t work—and the one critical component that’ll make all the difference in how your teen responds to your approach.
December 27, 2019
#2159 C.S. Lewis once wrote, “We don’t necessarily doubt that God will do the best for us; we wonder how painful the best will turn out to be.” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. As parents, we never seek out pain when raising a family. In fact, we usually do everything within our power to avoid it. But all too often, our tendency to run from pain … means that we fail to experience God’s very best for our lives. Look … parents in the midst of pain are in the worst position to change it. In reality, they’re in the best position to be changed by it. So don’t run from those awkward, goofy, distasteful moments that teens bring into your home! God truly wants the best for you. But the best may require a little pain.
December 26, 2019
#2158 Your kids are most likely at home right now, enjoying a nice long Christmas break. But before you know it, they’ll be heading back to school for a whole new semester … Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. New Years has gotta be one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about fresh starts. It’s when we put the past twelve months behind … and look ahead to the year to come. So if your son or daughter just came out of a rough semester at school … let them know that there’s no better time to make new friends, do better in class, or mend damaged relationships. Now’s their opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Mom, Dad … help your teen leave the past in the past where it belongs. There’s a bright future ahead!
December 25, 2019
#2157 Today, we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. But in homes with teenagers, Christmas is sometimes anything but peaceful. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Even with the extra stress and pressure that comes with the holiday season … Christmas can still be the perfect time for family fun. Try baking some Christmas cookies … or decorating a gingerbread house! Even if Dad’s elaborate construction falls apart … or Mom ends up with frosting on her nose … you’ll still create a fun, safe, and inviting environment that your kids will actually want to be in. This Christmas, let your kids see just how goofy you can really be. Blessings, my friend! May your home be filled with an extra measure of peace, laughter, joy, and love.
December 24, 2019
#2156 In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. If you’re dealing with a wayward teen, you know how it feels to be relationally fatigued, emotionally beaten up, and personally worn down … all at the same time. So if you need a good measure of peace this Christmas … it’s time to stop worrying and start praying! Spend a few minutes each day reading God’s Word. Be still in His presence. And entrust your problems … and your teen … to Him. Even though we’re guaranteed to have trouble in this world … in Christ, we have everlasting peace.
December 23, 2019
#2155 Christmas is the season to give and forgive. And it all started when God, the greatest “giver,” gave His only begotten Son. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. When Jesus came to earth as a baby, He ushered in a new age of hope and reconciliation. And though we didn’t deserve it, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made it possible to restore our relationship with God … our Heavenly Father. So if “peace on earth” and “good will to men” are far from your home this Christmas, let your teen know that you’ll always pursue a relationship with them. There’s no better time to follow Christ’s example and offer a son or daughter God-like undeserved reconciliation. Make sure your child knows … God’s thumbprint is on his life. And for God, no relationship is ever too broken to mend.
December 21, 2019
560 – Student Story: Anna With Jesus, we can experience supernatural joy and peace. But when we’re struggling at home with our teens, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s blessings. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston helps parents create an atmosphere of peace and joy in their home this Christmas.
December 14, 2019
559 – Student Story: Ashlan What’s the secret to developing rules and consequences that require honesty, obedience, and respect in your home … while encouraging your teen to make good decisions and wise choices? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston gives parents the tools to set appropriate boundaries and get positive responses from their teens.
December 7, 2019
#558 – Student Story: Faith If you could ask one question about teenagers, what would it be? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston answers commonly asked questions about raising teens from moms and dads. Then, Mark and Wayne reflect on another great year of ministry and look ahead to what the future holds.
November 30, 2019
#557 – Student Story: Joey Maybe it was something your son said. Or perhaps it was something your daughter did. Whatever the mistake, there are times when letting go of a past fault is the hardest thing we can do. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston explains why forgiveness is a constant necessity in a home with teens.
November 23, 2019
#556 – Student Story: Harrison You set down rules and guidelines for your teen, but they continually blow through the boundaries. Sound familiar? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston explains that you don’t have to compromise your convictions to be compassionate. Learn how parenting with conviction and compassion can build a healthy relationship with your teen.
November 16, 2019
#555 – Student Story: Grant Are you shielding your teen from outside influences? Or are you preparing them to live in the real world? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston helps moms and dads train children to maneuver through the jungle of today’s culture without succumbing to its negative influence.
November 9, 2019
#554 – Student Story: Samantha Thanks to technology, we have limitless knowledge at our fingertips. But deep down, teens are searching for wisdom—not information. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston teaches parents how to transfer wisdom to their teens in order to help them navigate the world and live wisely.
November 5, 2019
#2121 Every day, hundreds of orphaned children find safety and love from parents who choose to adopt them. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I believe that adopting a child is one of the most sacrificial and God-like things anyone can do. So in honor of National Adoption Month, I want to read from Romans chapter 8. Paul said that Christians “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.”* Wow! When you adopt a child … you model God’s sacrificial love for His children. Today I want to applaud and thank those who have taken on the God-honoring role of adoptive parent. You are among today’s most brave and selfless heroes.
November 4, 2019
#2120 There’s rarely a good time to be faced with a crisis. And for parents with out-of-control teens … the day-to-day struggle can drain every ounce of emotional energy. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. If you’re dealing with a teen who’s caught in the spin cycle, let me give you a few tips for preventing emotional burnout. First, take a break. Spend some time away from the stress. Something as simple as lunch with a friend can leave you feeling energized and refreshed. Second, pull out some old photos or home videos … and remember the good ol’ days when things were innocent and fun. Let the memories restore you. And finally, even though you might feel alone … rest assured, you are not alone. God knows. And He’s not finished with your teen.
November 2, 2019
#553 – Student Story: Aubrey The teen years can be bumpy for any child. But sometimes, adopted teens need a little extra dose of love and patience. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston shares the four essential tools in every adoptive parents’ toolbox and offers practical help for navigating the adolescent years.
November 1, 2019
#2119 Does your teenager feel valued and accepted at home? If not, they’ll go lookin’ somewhere else! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. As parents, we do a ton of stuff for our kids. We take care of their physical needs, cart them around to school events, and give them things our parents never did for us. But all these efforts fall short of giving our kids the thing they crave most. Value. Acceptance. Belonging. These are the virtues that build self-esteem. It gives them confidence to say “no” to temptation. And though they often find value from good grades or excelling at sports … the only place a teen can find true value is at home. So, I’ll ask you again … does your teen feel valued? Only you can provide the true sense of worth and acceptance they so desperately need.
October 31, 2019
#2118 Parents of rebellious teens often tell me that they feel like their house is falling apart. But no home is beyond repair! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. If your relationships at home are falling apart … here are three things you can do to help restore a sense of peace and order. First, try giving your teen more responsibility. You’ll be surprised by how he steps up to the plate when he has the freedom to grow up. Second, start listening more and talking less. Your teen is far more likely to respond to two-way conversations than relentless nagging and lectures. And finally, invest in your relationship. Maybe meet for lunch once a week … or find an activity you both enjoy.
October 30, 2019
#2117 To think that a teenager could become so hopeless that he would choose to end his life is almost too painful to imagine. But with the increasing rate of teen suicides, no parent can afford to ignore the possibility. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. For teens, suicide is a last-ditch effort to ease the pain, to make a statement, or to get revenge on someone who wronged them. They can’t see the bigger picture—they can only see the “here and now.” Shortsighted immaturity … mixed with feelings of despair … are a lethal combination. So if your son or daughter has been dropping subtle hints … like talking about death, or isolating themselves from others … don’t ignore the warning signs! Get your teen the help they need … before they become another statistic.
October 26, 2019
#552 – Student Story: Garret It’s only natural for children to want to push the boundaries. So, when your son or daughter crosses the line, how should you respond? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teen, Mark Gregston explains how effective discipline can get a child where they want to go and keep them from where they don’t want to end up.
October 19, 2019
#551 – Student Story: Tiller When teens find themselves dealing with the consequences of a mistake, parents want to swoop in and save the day. But this act of heroism is usually more harmful than not. Today on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston helps parents recognize when their teen needs rescuing—and when to leave the superhero cape at home.
October 18, 2019
#2109 Today’s parents want a deeper relationship with their teen than they had with their own parents. It’s well-intentioned. But taken too far, the outcome will disappoint you. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. My dad, like yours, was focused on providing for his family. We always had food on the table and a roof over our head. But the relational side was more than lacking. Then the ‘60s and ‘70s came along. We swooned over lyrics like “All You Need Is Love” … and started applying them to our parenting styles. Neither extreme is good for our kids. So if you’ve allowed the pendulum too swing too far … it’s not too late to find a healthy balance between authority and relationship. Love your teen. But don’t cross that slippery boundary and become his friend alone. To hold his heart … you need to remain his parent.
October 17, 2019
#2107 Spoiler alert! Your teen craves boundaries! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Some parents cringe at the thought of doling out consequences, fearing it may harm a relationship with their teen. But I’ve found that young people actually want rules! For kids, the world makes more sense when they know what’s accepted and what’s not. They feel safer when they know where the boundaries are. And they find comfort in the consistency of parents who stick to their game plan. So the next time your teen steps out of line … no waffling on the consequences! Follow through … and show him that you mean what you say. Your teen won’t thank you now. But later, he’ll be grateful. My guess is that your son will build the same fences for his kids. And your grandkids will crave the boundaries, too!
October 17, 2019
#2108 Do you ever feel like your teen treats you like a walking, breathing, ATM machine? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Hardly a day goes by when a teenager doesn’t ask for something. But when parents continually cave in … they often fail to realize the long-term consequences. For example, you might view that new pair of shoes or that upgraded iPhone as a generous gift … but your teen sees it as a God-given right. There’s nothing wrong with parents (and grandparents) who want to give their children nice things. But when you hold back, you give your teen something much more valuable. Restrained desire is something all of us have to cope with. Mom, Dad, let your son or daughter know what it’s like to work for something they crave, and feel the reward of earning it.
October 16, 2019
#2107 Spoiler alert! Your teen craves boundaries! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Some parents cringe at the thought of doling out consequences, fearing it may harm a relationship with their teen. But I’ve found that young people actually want rules! For kids, the world makes more sense when they know what’s accepted and what’s not. They feel safer when they know where the boundaries are. And they find comfort in the consistency of parents who stick to their game plan. So the next time your teen steps out of line … no waffling on the consequences! Follow through … and show him that you mean what you say. Your teen won’t thank you now. But later, he’ll be grateful. My guess is that your son will build the same fences for his kids. And your grandkids will crave the boundaries, too!
October 15, 2019
#2105 Here’s a trick question. Would you rather go for a ride on a carousel? Or a roller coaster? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Okay … carousels have their redeeming features. They’re calm and pleasant … if a not little boring. But to me, a roller coast ride is so much better! One second, you’re right side up. The next second, you’re hangin’ on for dear life, screaming at the top of your lungs. Kinda like parenting teens, huh? Hey, raising teens can be unpredictable, heart-stopping, and terrifying at times. But in the end, you’ll realize it wasn’t so bad … even with all the ups, downs, twists, and turns. So don’t be surprised when the ride gets a little crazy. And by all means … don’t check out. Mom, Dad … stay with it. You’ll be glad you did!
October 15, 2019
#2106 Super heroes are great in movies and comic books. But in parenting, rescuing your teen every time he gets into trouble can create a disaster! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. In my experience, the most irresponsible teens come from the most responsible parents. I call them “super parents.” They don their cape and fly off to badger a teacher who gave their student a bad grade. They bend steel bars to get him out of jail. And in between, they pick up his room, wash his clothes, and rush him to school when he oversleeps. A more appropriate name for a “super parent” … is an “enabler.” Hey, the next time your teen runs into trouble … don’t swoop in to save the day! Instead, let him deal with the consequences. And be the real “super parent” he needs you to be!
October 14, 2019
#2105 Here’s a trick question. Would you rather go for a ride on a carousel? Or a roller coaster? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Okay … carousels have their redeeming features. They’re calm and pleasant … if a not little boring. But to me, a roller coast ride is so much better! One second, you’re right side up. The next second, you’re hangin’ on for dear life, screaming at the top of your lungs. Kinda like parenting teens, huh? Hey, raising teens can be unpredictable, heart-stopping, and terrifying at times. But in the end, you’ll realize it wasn’t so bad … even with all the ups, downs, twists, and turns. So don’t be surprised when the ride gets a little crazy. And by all means … don’t check out. Mom, Dad … stay with it. You’ll be glad you did!
October 12, 2019
#550 – Student Story: Sophia Teens go through all sorts of change in the adolescent years. But growth isn’t limited to physical, emotional, and intellectual changes. Teens grow spiritually too! This week on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston coaches moms and dads on how to nurture their child’s faith throughout the formative teen years.
October 11, 2019
#2103 Mom, Dad, it’s never too early to start planning for the teen years! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. When your child reaches the “tween” years, things are calm and easy … and you’re like, “Hey, I’m getting’ the hang of this parenting thing!” Hmm. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but it’s likely “the calm before the storm”! Sure, things are flowing smoothly now … but when your teen starts craving independence, he’ll be spending more time away from home … with folks you might not know. So don’t get blindsided! Start updating your style now … to prepare for the changes coming ahead. The teen years can be bumpy. But they can be fantastic, too. So don’t fall asleep at the controls … because the storm clouds are looming. And your teen needs an alert pilot to navigate the turbulence ahead!
October 9, 2019
#2102 Mom, dad, find yourself gettin’ all twisted up and worried about your teen? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Billy Graham once said, “Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.” Wow, that’s a convicting statement. But let’s face it … as a parent, it’s really hard not to worry about your kids! We worry about what they’re doing, where they’re at, and who they’re with. We fret over the choices they make … and lie awake at night thinking about their future. So today, if you find yourself weary from worry and overwhelmed with fear … lay it all down at God’s feet. Put your hope and trust in Him. Why? Even in the midst of chaos, God is always in control.
October 8, 2019
#2101 Picture this: Your teen comes home two hours past curfew. You’ve been worried sick. Then he calmly waltzes in like nothing happened. Something snaps … and you start yelling. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Hey, we’ve all done it. But when your teen breaks the rules, he desperately needs an adult who can respond … not react. To respond is to remain calm and offer grace and support … while still seeking to correct the behavior. To react is to get angry and emotional … and lay on the judgment. Hey, knee-jerk reactions are counterproductive … and often sabotage what you truly want to achieve. So the next time your teen crosses the line, here’s an easy three-point game plan. Stop, think, act. That means stop your mouth, think about what needs to be done … and then, and only then, speak.
October 5, 2019
#549 – Student Story: Sarah You set out to raise “perfect” children and even planned their “perfect” futures. But what happens when your “perfect” teen doesn’t turn out the way you expected? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston outlines the dangers of perfection and suggests creative ways to let your teen—and yourself—be imperfect.
October 4, 2019
#2099 Dishonesty may seem like a minor issue. But lying is actually a serious vice that parents should never ignore. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Ultimately, dishonesty is rooted in disrespect: disrespect for others, disrespect for authority, and disrespect for oneself. And the longer a parent waits to address the problem, the more entrenched and habitual it becomes. So if you see lies and falsehoods creeping into your teen’s conversations, texts, or Facebook posts … don’t stand by and watch! Confront it. Let your teen know that as his parent, it’s your job to keep an eye out for deception. Letting him get away with lying, cheating or stealing today … could lead to a lifetime of misery down the road. Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.”
October 3, 2019
#2098 Recently, I came across an interesting Time magazine cover. It pictured a child standing like a puppet, with his arms and legs attached to strings … presumably controlled by a parent above. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Well, it seems the world is finally catching on to the folly of over-parenting. I’m talking about the moms and dads who hover over their kids 24/7 … while bending over backwards to meet their every need. What these parents don’t realize, though, is that every little thing they do for their kid … is one more thing they may never learn to do for themselves. So if you’ve been guilty of over-parenting, or smother-mothering … now’s the time to cut the strings! Step back … let go … and give your teen the freedom he needs to become the adult he was meant to be.
October 2, 2019
#2097 Now don’t get me wrong. Having a strong relationship with your teen is critically important. But sometimes we take it to an unhealthy extreme. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Even though parents know the value of discipline, many of us have a hard time actually following through. We’re worried about retaliation. Or breaking our friendship. Proverbs 29:17 says, “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” Think of it this way. Over his lifespan, 80% of your son’s life will be spent away from home. And he’s counting on you to prepare him for the demands of adulthood. Mom, Dad, your son doesn’t need another friend. Your son needs a parent. So do the hard thing. In the end, you’ll be pleased with the outcome. “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace.
October 1, 2019
#2096 According to a recent study, close to 60% of our kids quit going to church after age fifteen. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. So what’s the reason behind this mass exodus? Well, I’m sad to hear that many teens see the church as judgmental and irrelevant. To many, the church looks like an elite country club … and those who don’t fit the mold are denied acceptance. Furthermore, kids who struggle often feel alienated at church. And left with a deep sense of shame. Of course, we know these views are skewed. But before we rush to judgment, let’s make sure we have open conversations with our teens about the value of church. Together, as adults, let’s make sure that church remains a safe place for our kids to find acceptance, forgiveness, and love. They need it. And so do we!
September 30, 2019
#2095 How do you handle those inevitable moments when your teen begins to doubt?  Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens.  From her earliest days, you convince your little girl that she can accomplish anything.  Opportunities are limitless.  And the world is her oyster.  But as kids move from childhood to adolescence, they naturally become introspective and insecure.  And sometimes her private thoughts get a little dark, like … “Why am I here?  And what’s my purpose?” So if your teen starts posing these daunting life questions … don’t panic!  This search for meaning is one of the most empowering stages your teenager will ever go through.  Help her uncover her talents, strengths, and passions … as she embarks on a lifelong quest for purpose.  Self-confidence rarely comes without a season of self-doubt.  Mom, dad … don’t rescue your daughter.  Instead, help her through it.
September 28, 2019
#548 – Student Story: Matt Does every confrontation with your teen end in a yelling match? Do you feel like you’re living in a constant war zone? There are better ways to handle conflict! This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston teaches parents how to control their anger and resolve conflict in a healthy way.
September 27, 2019
#2094 We’re witnessing a generation of teens who’ve become addicted to their personal rights! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. More and more kids today believe they’re entitled to anything and everything. They want more, demand more, and expect more than any other generation. So how do you keep your teen from thinkin’ he rules the world? First, you need to quit feeding his world view! Stop doing everything for your teen. Quit jumping every time she says “frog.” Instead … tell him that it’s time to start doing things for himself. Let him wash his own laundry for a change. Or cook a meal for the whole family. Your teen may roll his eyes. Your daughter may throw a fit. But if you stick your guns … your child will slowly understand the world order. The universe does not spin under their control!
September 26, 2019
#2093 We’ve all grown wiser from our mistakes and failures over the years. But unfortunately, there’s no short cut for our kids. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Yep, in most cases … our teens cannot truly grow up until they feel the painful consequences of their own failures. We shouldn’t be so shocked when our kids made a dumb mistake. All of us are born with an infinite capacity to mess up. Gratefully, God has an infinite capacity to forgive! So the next time your teen blows it big time … and trust me, there will be a next time … continue to reach out in love. That doesn’t mean you sweep stuff under the carpet and ignore it. But while you’re cleanin’ up whatever mess they’ve caused, be sure your teen knows you’re ready to forgive.
September 25, 2019
#2092 When your teen messes up big time … what in the world do you say? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Well, Mark Twain said, choose your words carefully! He said, “The difference between the exact right words and the almost right words is like the difference between lightning bugs and lightning bolts.” Hey, it’s easy to love your teen when everything’s going well. But it’s a whole lot different when they bust your rules, trounce over your boundaries, and still have the audacity to ask you for cash. So the next time your teen makes a royal blunder, don’t say something that’ll jeopardize your relationship. Don’t resort to toxic remarks and judgment. Instead, tell your teen exactly what he needs to hear: “There’s nothing you can do to make me love you more, and nothing you can do to make me love you less.”
September 24, 2019
#2091 In 1988, I worked for a wonderful ministry in Branson, Missouri. I thought things were going great … until out of nowhere came these three words: “Mark, you’re fired!” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Later that week, one of my dear friends said to me, “Mark, this is going to be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you.” Now, that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me at the time. But today, I can look back and see the silver lining. If I never lost that job … I would have never founded Heartlight Ministries! So if you’re feeling defeated or lost or hopeless today, you may not understand why. But the struggle with your teen is part of God’s plan. This season of testing could be the greatest thing that’s ever happened to you.
September 23, 2019
#2090 The late Rodney Dangerfield’s “I don’t get no respect” jokes were pretty funny. But it’s no laughing matter when a teenager is disrespectful toward his parents. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. While it’s true that you can’t force your child to respect you … treating someone with respect is an entirely different matter. Showing respect is a conscious decision … regardless of whether you like someone or not. And expecting our teens to be respectful should have nothing to do with how they feel at the moment. So if your teen’s been showing signs of disrespect, let him know that things are gonna be different from now on. The longer you wait to address the problem, the worse it will become. Requiring respect now will teach your teen to apply civil behavior in all areas of life.
September 21, 2019
#547 – Student Story: Aiden Teenagers are known for being angst-filled and moody. But in some cases, a teen’s persistent negativity may be a sign of a bigger issue. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston explains how to spot signs of depression in teens—and what moms and dads can do to help.
September 20, 2019
#2089 Years ago, I heard a man on the radio that I’ve been a fan of all my life. My good friend Chuck Swindoll said: “I want three simple words on my gravestone … ‘Dad was fun!’” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I gotta tell ya, I was a little surprised! I thought Swindoll would prefer something profound … like, “America’s beloved preacher.” Maybe a testament to his spiritual depth, or his amazing provision as a dad. And here’s one of the most godly men I’d ever known talking about how he wanted to be remembered for his playfulness. Since then, I’ve come to realize that laughter is another form of worship. So take a page out of Chuck Swindoll’s book. Have some fun. Loosen up a little. Tell a joke! Nothing will bring a quicker connection with your teen than sharing a good laugh!
September 19, 2019
#2088 While I applaud parents who put child locks on TV channels and safeguards on the Internet … the reality is that kids can and do access inappropriate content elsewhere. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. More than ever, parents and teens need to have frank discussions about things like drugs, sex and alcohol. Surprise your teen by cutting to the chase. You may think such topics are uncomfortable and inappropriate. But that won’t stop kids from the talking at school, texting each other, and posting things online. So stop trying to completely shelter your teen from worldly influences. Believe me when I say it doesn’t solve the long-term challenge! Rather, start training your child to guard his heart. The rewards will be rich as you watch him develop into a responsible, godly young man.
September 18, 2019
#2087 In grade school, it starts with kids making up wild stories while keeping their fingers crossed behind their backs. But as time goes on, many teens fall into a deeper pattern of lying, cheating, and intertwining the truth with fiction. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Kids lie for the same reasons as adults … to lift themselves up, to get ahead, or to protect themselves and avoid consequences. What they rarely realize is that this short-term solution … often leads to long-term problems. So if lying has become a way of life for your teen, don’t think it’ll just go away over time. Mom, Dad, confront fibbing while you still can! Don’t let them get away with bending the truth. Otherwise, you may be dealing with even bigger issues in the years to come.
September 17, 2019
#2086 Lying, aggression, anger, mood swings, new friends, changes in sleep patterns … all of these are red flags that your teen may be abusing drugs. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. When I was growing up, parents didn’t worry about drugs until their teens got to high school. But these days, kids are beginning to experiment at younger and younger ages. So, if you’ve got a hunch about your teen’s behavior, don’t be afraid to administer a drug test every few weeks, unannounced. Even if they squeal in protest! Your teen needs need to know how serious you are about keeping drugs out of their life … even if it means putting them in rehab or reporting them to the authorities. Better a few days behind bars than a lifetime in the grip of drugs.
September 16, 2019
#2085 What if every time you got pulled over for a speeding ticket … the cop just let you off the hook? Or whenever you missed a credit card payment … they never charged you any late fees? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Now, that might sound like a dream come true to you. But the fact is … rules and consequences become completely ineffective unless they’re carried out! So if you’re trying to curb your teen’s misbehavior, start by laying down some boundaries. Then, the next time he crosses the line … be a man or woman of your word … and follow through! Will your teen test you? Absolutely. So be prepared to stand your ground. He may grumble and complain now … but one day, he will thank you.
September 14, 2019
#546 – Student Story: Lindsey Have you noticed that kids today seem more worried than in past generations? It’s not just you! Today’s teens are struggling with a heightened level of stress and anxiety. And they need their parents’ help to deal with it. This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston advises parents on how to help their teens overcome anxiety.
September 13, 2019
#2084 Has your teen been spending more and more time with friends … and less and less time at home? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Often, parents feel hurt or slighted when their kids no longer want to do things with them … and hanging out with mom and dad stops being cool. But as painful as those moments may be, it’s actually a good thing! Kids naturally begin to move away from their parents as they grow up and mature. And their desire to spend less time at home is typically a sign of healthy independence. So be willing to loosen your grip as your teen begins to spread her wings. And continue to be a presence in her life … one that offers guidance and limitation when necessary, and grants freedom and responsibility when appropriate.
September 12, 2019
#2083 Mistakes are obviously best avoided. But part of growing up is understanding that nobody’s perfect … not even parents! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. It’s inevitable that everyone fails. The trick is knowing how to “fail forward.” It means learning from your mistakes … and keeping yourself from repeating them. So here are a few ways you can practice “failing forward” in your own life: First, admit when you’re wrong! Don’t make excuses. Second, apologize to those you hurt. And third, ask your teen what the consequences should be for your own failures … and carry through! Remember, your teen will blow it one day. But if you teach them how to “fail forward” … you’ll give them an invaluable tool for every stage of life.
September 11, 2019
#2082 Every teen faces identity issues at one point or another. But sometimes for adopted teens, the struggle escalates even higher. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I’ve seen kids pull all kinds of stunts to get questions answered about their past. Some have even tracked down their birth parents online, contacted them unexpectedly, and secretly set up a time to meet! So if you’re an adoptive parent, don’t lose heart when your teen goes through a time of crisis. Their natural curiosity doesn’t mean they stopped loving you … or no longer appreciate everything you’ve done. They’re just a little confused about who they are. So on the good days and the bad, continue to parent your child with the same kind of love you’ve always had. And keep following God’s example of patience, goodness, understanding, forgiveness, and grace.
September 10, 2019
#2082 Every teen faces identity issues at one point or another. But sometimes for adopted teens, the struggle escalates even higher. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I’ve seen kids pull all kinds of stunts to get questions answered about their past. Some have even tracked down their birth parents online, contacted them unexpectedly, and secretly set up a time to meet! So if you’re an adoptive parent, don’t lose heart when your teen goes through a time of crisis. Their natural curiosity doesn’t mean they stopped loving you … or no longer appreciate everything you’ve done. They’re just a little confused about who they are. So on the good days and the bad, continue to parent your child with the same kind of love you’ve always had. And keep following God’s example of patience, goodness, understanding, forgiveness, and grace.
September 9, 2019
#2080 Kids and adolescents are playin’ around with dangerous substances … even the junk they find in God-fearing homes! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Parents are facing a difficult task of raising kids in a culture that’s bent on creative inventions. Look … teens are hunting for any possible way to get high. They abuse prescription drugs and common household items. And some of these substances are even riskier to use than the better- known street drugs! The biggest danger, though, comes when parents refuse to believe that their child might be using in the first place. It’s called denial. So Mom, Dad … don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend that your teen knows better than to experiment! Stay alert … and remain the protective parent your child desperately needs.
September 7, 2019
#545 – Student Story: Jaclyn If parenting wasn’t hard enough already, parents now have to navigate the challenging world of cell phones. How old should kids be before they get a smart phone? And how can parents encourage healthy screen-time habits? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston conducts a practical Q&A about kids and cell phones.
September 6, 2019
#2079 Most of us wish that the positive transformation of our teens would happen overnight. But that’s not the way it works! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. It’s easy to become so overwhelmed by the major problems with our teens’ behavior … that we fail to recognize progress. The key is to be patient … and celebrate the little victories. Now, progress doesn’t mean “problem solved.” Rather, it’s a steady trend toward improvement. If your child was screaming at you every day … and now only yells at you every other day … hey, that’s progress! If your child finishes some of his homework … when he previously did none … that’s progress, too! Remember, turnarounds rarely happen overnight. So make sure to applaud every step in the right direction … even the baby steps.
September 5, 2019
#2078 Are you the mother or father of a struggling son or daughter? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Most teenage problems are caused by hormones, immaturity, and brain development. So if your son or daughter is going through a rough time, here’s some good news: it’s just a phase! And it won’t last forever. In the midst of the turmoil, continue to reach toward your teen with love and grace … even when they don’t deserve it. And over time, your relationship will change for the better. Remember, God never gives up on us … even though we constantly blow it. Instead, He gives grace. As parents, we must be willing to do the same. Mom, Dad, make it crystal clear to your teen … “I will never, ever give up on you … no matter what!”
September 4, 2019
#2077 No parent wants to see a child bring home an ugly report card! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Okay, not every student will earn straight A’s! But if your teen is failing to follow through on basic responsibilities … like completing homework on time or showing up to class … it’s time to deliver some consequences. Let him know that from now on, he’ll lose privileges when he misses assignments or when his grades drop. A few weeks without a cell phone or videogames can go a long way in teaching responsibility. Hey, I know it’s hard to step back and let your teen face the outcome of his actions. But believe me when I say he’ll be thanking you later! Your son doesn’t need to be the valedictorian! But he needs to practice the basic disciplines of learning.
August 31, 2019
#544 – Student Story: N/A We live in a “what’s in it for me” kind of society. And it’s creating a generation of teens who thinks the world revolves around them. So, what can parents do to fight back against this toxic mentality? This weekend on Parenting of Teens, Mark Gregston shares five ways to create a culture of selflessness at home.
August 30, 2019
#2074 The scars we receive from bullies never fade … even as adults. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I’m convinced that the escalating conflicts with bullies will never end … until parents step in and model what’s right. And right now, I’d like to pray for all of us … as we guide our teens. Father, show us how to help our kids. Teach us to intervene. Like You … allow us to become their great protector. We want to walk beside them if they’re being bullied … and we want to rebuke them if they dare offend others. Sarcasm and biting criticism are never part of Your character. It’s never Your will that we would willfully offend or hurt the innocent. So help us to become models of Your mercy, love and grace. Father, empower us to engage our kids as never before. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.
August 29, 2019
#2073 When disrespect in your teen rears its ugly head, it’s time to make sure everyone understands the rules for fighting fair. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Disagreements are a natural and important part of healthy relationships. But teens need to learn how to argue with respect. So if you’ve got a disrespectful teenager at home, here’s the kind of message you can deliver: “We love you, and that will never change. But we won’t allow you to talk to us that way anymore. We understand your need to argue your opinion, but there’s a better way to do it. So from now on, disrespectful words or actions will not be tolerated. And we’ll throw in some extra consequences to boot.” Make sure your teen clearly understands that you’re willing to listen … but you’re not a punching bag. Some day … he will thank you.
August 28, 2019
#2072 If the paint on the side of your house began to peel … or the roof started leaking … or your porch light burned out … would you just sit around and do nothing? Of course not! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. When things start to fall apart around the house, we instinctively grab a screwdriver, reach for a paintbrush, or do whatever it takes to get things back in order. And in like manner … our relationships need maintenance, too! Has your relationship with your teen become damaged by conflict, tension, or poor communication? Sounds like it’s time for a little home improvement! Take on this important do-it-yourself project … before it’s too late. Read a good book. Attend a helpful seminar. And above all … keep reaching out to your teen.
August 27, 2019
#2071 When every conversation with your teen about rules and boundaries turns into a battle of wills … it’s easy to feel like tossin’ in the towel. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Teens are known for testing boundaries. But it is possible to handle their moans and rolling eyes in a way that maintains relationship … without backing down. And one of my favorite ways to do that is with the word “nevertheless.” Here’s how it works. Instead of saying, “No, you can’t go see that movie.” Say, “Sweetheart, I’m aware your friends think it’s a great movie, and they may be right, nevertheless … our rule is that we don’t watch R-rated movies.” So the next time you get pushback from your teen over rules or curfew … try responding with “nevertheless.” You’ll be amazed how one simple word can turn the tide.
August 26, 2019
#2070 A stepparent’s job is never easy. And unfortunately, it only gets harder when your stepchild hits adolescence. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. No matter how much loving care you give … all too often stepparents experience rejection and anger from their stepchild. A stepparent becomes the target of the teen’s regret. It might come from her sense of loss. She might even believe—incorrectly—that her life would be much happier and problem-free if you’d never come along. So if tensions are high right now between you and your step-teen … take heart. Though you can’t force her to stop thinking the way she does … her feelings of loss won’t go on forever. And one day, she’ll understand the other side … and see you as her solution … not her problem.
August 24, 2019
#543 – Student Story: N/A Summer is nearly over and a new school year is just around the corner. So, what’s your game plan for making it the best school year yet? This weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston offers five ways to develop a meaningful relationship with your teen over the upcoming school year.
August 23, 2019
#2069 Some families let arguments and fighting tear them apart. But in reality … conflict can pull a family together! Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. When handled properly, conflict can actually improve relationships. People who stick together through thick and thin become closer by the end. In fact, some of the teens I recall most fondly are the ones who made me want to pull my hair out! Engaging, rather than avoiding, will teach your teen how to manage conflict well years down the road. Rest assured, the day will come when they have their first fight with a future roommate, employer, spouse … and child, too! So don’t shy away from conflict with your teen. When it’s time to get in there and fight for something you believe in … create a model for resolution they will never forget.
August 23, 2019
#2068 I can still remember the day I brought home all A’s on my report card—except for one B—and my dad wanted to know, “Why isn’t this one an A?” Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Man, my dad’s comment really took the wind out of my sails. Hey, it’s only natural for parents to want to see their child excel in academics. And there’s nothing wrong with encouraging them to do their best. But no one needs to feel like their grades are the ultimate measurement of their worth. Mom, Dad … make sure your teen knows she’ll always be loved … whether she brings home A’s and B’s … or C’s and D’s. Don’t belittle your son for missing the mark. Ten years from now, no one will ask to see your teen’s report card. But your teen will forever remember your love.
August 21, 2019
#2067 According to a recent study, nearly thirty percent of kids in middle and high school are bullied. But only fraction will ever report it. Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. I’ve talked to students who were bullied for being adopted, for struggling in school … even for having a mom or dad pass away. There’s truly no wound too deep for a bully to avoid. They spot the pain … and go right for the target. Yet most kids rarely report getting bullied. Sometimes they’re too ashamed to admit it … or they’re afraid of looking weak. Other times, they fear retribution and ridicule. Parents and teachers should be on the lookout for bullies. We might never suspect what’s going on … unless we ask. Find your son or daughter clamming up? Going into isolation? Ask the question. It’s our role to protect our teen.
August 20, 2019
#2066 Are you getting tired of policing your teen … to make sure he gets his homework done? Hi, I’m Mark Gregston … with Parenting Today’s Teens. Here’s something I tell the kids that live with me at Heartlight: “I don’t care about your academics. If you want to graduate on time, then graduate on time. And if you want my help, I’m happy to do anything I can.” Now, you and I know that I’m greatly concerned about their academic work. But I make it their responsibility to get it done. They know I’m willing to help them in the process … but I’m not gonna do the work for them! Mom, Dad, let your child take responsibility for his schoolwork … even if it means letting him fail. The lessons learned from a D or F today … will keep him from failing in the future.
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