Managing Conflict With Your Teen

Teen and parentWhen having conflict and struggle with your teen, it’s easy to feel as if the entire family is falling apart.  I’ve found that a better view of handling conflict is to see it as an opportunity to pull your family together, like never before!

Conflict Can Be the Precursor to Positive Change

I believe that relationships that stick together through conflict and hardship become closer relationships. In fact, the teens in our Heartlight program that I remember the most fondly are the ones that caused me to want to pull my hair out when dealing with their constant arguing and bad behavior. Continue reading “Managing Conflict With Your Teen”

Teenage Girls and Inappropriate Behavior

Here’s a question I received this week from an assistant principal of a Christian high school who is struggling with a student displaying inappropriate sexual advances to the boys in her school.  His question is followed by my advice.

Dear Mark,

I am looking for resources, articles, books, counseling ideas for situations that we are dealing with at our school.

For instance, we have a fifteen-year-old young lady who struggles with attraction to boys that ends up in inappropriate behavior.  She asked for help after she was caught kissing boys on the bus and in the band hall.  She says she is overly-interested in male attention.

Continue reading “Teenage Girls and Inappropriate Behavior”

Step-Family Teen Troubles

Step-parents often experience rejection and anger from the step-child in the teenage years.  After giving so much loving care over the years, it can be more than a parent can bear when the child seemingly turns against them in the teen years. 

In our Heartlight residential program, I daily help step-families in the midst of such turmoil.  Our work begins following a plea for help, similar to the note I received today…

“My husband and I have been married since my daughter was two years old.  Her biological father has had very little to do with her.  My daughter constantly argues with her step-father and will not stop.  He sometimes responds by becoming angry.  I simply cannot handle this any longer. “

Step-parents can take it very personally when a step-child seemingly rejects them.  It’s hard for them to understand how a child they helped raise could so suddenly become hateful, mean, and angry. Continue reading “Step-Family Teen Troubles”