Decision-Making Muscle Building

Are you helping your teenager build decision-making muscles, or will they be as weak as children when they leave home?

Teens need to be allowed to make more and more decisions, but as they do they will naturally make mistakes.  It’s a messy process!  The real problem comes when parents don’t allow them to make decisions.  That may be easier and less stressful on the parents, but it isn’t doing the kids any favors. In fact, it leaves kids weak and unable to make good decisions after they leave home.

Here’s how I see it.  In the younger years, parents mostly need to stand in front of their kids to prevent them from taking a dangerous course of action.  As they grow older, parents should gradually move along side their kids, encouraging smaller decisions.  But when the teen years come around, parents need to mostly get out of the way when it comes to decisions that aren’t of a permanent or life-altering nature. Getting out of the way will be a first step toward strengthening a teenager’s decision-making skills for the rest of their life. Continue reading “Decision-Making Muscle Building”

Adjust Your Parenting Style, Or Else!

Most of us tend to parent the same way we were parented.  Even those of us who vowed, “I’ll never do that to my kids,” often fall back to imitating what we saw from our parents.  The problem is that the world has changed.  Our parents would have been horrified by what our kids casually experience and discuss amongst themselves today.  Things are different, and your kids are changing every day as well. Are you keeping up?

I went to Chicago recently—and I’m here to tell you that it’s a bad idea for a thin-blooded Texan to make a trip up north in the middle of winter!  It was COLD.  Fortunately before I left, I got a big warm coat (though it wasn’t big and warm enough) and a hat and gloves to wear.  I could have said, “I shouldn’t have to wear something different,” but I likely would have ended up in the Chicago morgue.  Making that adjustment didn’t change who I was, it was simply a wise response to changing circumstances. Continue reading “Adjust Your Parenting Style, Or Else!”

Connecting With Your Teen

Do You Know How to Really Connect with Your Teenage Son or Daughter?

Teens today are experts in the art of mass communications. They have every communications gadget imaginable and they communicate to friends and the whole world about things that might be better left unsaid. After all, does the world really need to know they just let their cat out, or brushed their teeth, or that they like to play Farmville for hours on end? I don’t think so, but they do.

This form of one-way communication, however, doesn’t mean that kids are connecting. It does little to develop meaningful personal relationships and the feeling of connectedness that all teens long for. The fast-paced culture in which they live is tough on their relationships. It confuses them more than anything, and it blocks the route to more meaningful communications, especially the kind of communication they need to have with their parents. Continue reading “Connecting With Your Teen”