Mark Gregston writes with Heartlight Ministries about parenting today’s teens. Heartlight is a residential counseling center for teens. He has worked with teens and their families for 38 years.
When I had the opportunity to review his book, I was very excited. My daughter is eight cruising on to nine, and honestly it freaks me out. We read tons of books when we learn we are expecting and during the baby and toddler years, the teenage years should be no different.
I love how all his words center around the work he has actually done with teenagers and their families. This is a good read because of his daily experience with teenagers. In his findings, kids today are overexposed to everything. They have information overload. Teenagers pull toward electronics and virtual worlds prevent them from having deep connections. Parents today, tend to be over responsible and this leads to irresponsible kids.
My favorite points of encouragement:
*As long as my Mom and Dad do everything. I don’t have to do anything. Gradually transfer age-appropriate responsibilities.
*Don’t expect perfection from your kids. We don’t live in perfection.
*I don’t need criticism and ridicule right now… what I need is help. Offer love not judgement.
*Having a relationship with your teenager is essential for their survival. Give them your TIME. Every relationship is important; parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts.
*I love his examples of what grace looks like in a family. Love even when you don’t feel like it…
*Home should be a place where teenagers can rest and feel safe, accepted, and loved.
Our kids NEED us.
That is something we can all offer.
To be there, FULLY PRESENT in the chaos of life.
To love them fully with all our hearts.
(The book has a great appendix of conversation starters and ways to discuss conflict.)
Do you love that this is not a complicated theory or formula? What are your greatest parenting challenges?
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