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The Greatest Gift to Give Your Teen

by Mark Gregston

As parents we want our children to be happy, healthy, and whole people, but in this fast-paced, hectic world, it’s sometimes difficult to create a space that shows the people we’re closest to that we love them, value them, and want to support them. 

I believe that time is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone, but time is just one component of that equation, and it’s not the only gift that communicates how you feel.  Unconditional love, support, and learning about the heart of your child are all important pieces of the puzzle, too.  So, as you go through your week, let’s look at some encouraging ways you can connect and capture the heart of your teen. 

Some Ways to Gift Your Teen with Love 

Do you know your child’s love language?  Every human on the planet longs to be known and understood by the people around them, especially those that are the closest to them.  And every human being has a specific love language.  If you didn’t know that, or if you don’t know what your teen’s love language is, perhaps now would be a great time to learn their love language!  What’s that old adage?  The more you know, the better you’ll grow?  Well, that’s true when it comes to being able to relate to and connect with your teen.  So, become a student of your teen.  Learn all you can so that you can help your relationship blossom and grow organically and authentically. 

Let’s talk about unconditional love for a minute.  Do you know what it means to love someone unconditionally?  It’s not just a feeling.  Unconditional love can take on many forms, but using verbal affirmation, physical touch, and eye contact are all ways that you can communicate that you love your teen without saying those three little words.  And to love your child unconditionally means you accept them as they are without restrictions and stipulations.  No two people are alike, and God has created us in His image and for His purposes.  And while we all have room to grow and improve, it’s probably best to remember that when we’re trying to shape and mold our children, Perfect love casts out fear.  Relationships that are based on fear never last.  And what you want, mom and dad, is a relationship for the ages. 

Everyone needs someone to be on their team.  They need someone who sides with them, and during the teen years, this is so important.  Teens experience some of the most challenging times of their lives during middle school and high school, and it’s important that you’re there for them.  When you believe in your teen and shower them with encouragement and love, it really does change their lives and their outlook.  So, take some time this week to set aside your arguments and rediscover ways to communicate that you love and support them. 

When you gift your teen with your time, your presence, and your unconditional love, you really are extending an invitation to them that communicates how you feel about them.  And feeling valued, loved, wanted, and included are needs that people all over the world desire. 


Mom, Dad … my prayer for you and your family is that as you go through the week, you would find blessings and fulfillment regardless of any of the circumstances that you find yourself in.  My hope is that you’ll find rest and periods of relaxation as you focus on your loved ones.  Do this … celebrate your loved one in a way that you’ve never done before.  Have a special dinner in their honor.  Go to a movie and laugh together.  Turn off the electricity to your house for a night so that you can reconnect together in the living room with flashlights and candles.  Do something memorable.  Experience something magnificent with your family this week while you make your time together meaningful and positive. 

Author: Mark Gregston

Mark Gregston began working with teens more than 40 years ago as a youth minister and Young Life director. He has authored nearly two dozen books, has written hundreds of articles, and is host of the nationally-acclaimed Parenting Today’s Teens podcast and radio broadcast.