Confronting Your Teen’s Mistakes

“The difference between the exact right words and the almost right words is like the difference between lightning bugs and lightning bolts.”  — Mark Twain

discussionAvoiding toxic words and wrong motivations helps maintain a solid relationship while effectively confronting your teen’s mistakes.


I haven’t met a teen yet who doesn’t want to know they will continue to be loved when they’ve made mistakes. Loving someone seems easy when everything is going well.  It’s a quite different matter when your teen breaks your rules, and their life spins out of control.   In those times, the best way to demonstrate your continual love for them is to take care in the way you confront their misbehavior, avoiding toxic words and wrong motivations.

The first step is to let your teen know why you are confronting their misbehavior. It is that you love them and want to help them avoid bigger problems later in life. Demonstrate your respect for them by your demeanor, assuring them that you will move toward them in times of difficulty and struggle, not away from them.  Tell them that you can’t possibly love them any more than you do, and you’ll never love them any less, not even when they are at their worst. Continue reading “Confronting Your Teen’s Mistakes”

The Rising Tide of Teen Dishonesty

crossed-fingersSome claim that the silly gesture of crossing your fingers behind your back to cover up a lie originated with Roman persecution of Christians. To escape death, those who lied about their faith in Christ, just as Peter did, made the sign of the cross behind their back to ask God’s forgiveness.

That sounds more like a fable to me, but it’s a fact that teenagers today seem to be crossing their fingers behind their back more and more. They are cheating and stealing more, too. The latest Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth, by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, shows teens are lying more often and more easily than ever. The report indicates an increase in lying, cheating and stealing among youth since 2006, when the report was first published.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they lied recently for financial gain. Sixty-four percent said they cheated on a test during the past year, and 38% had cheated more than once. Eighty-three percent said they had recently lied to their parents about something significant. Continue reading “The Rising Tide of Teen Dishonesty”

Parenting Shift in the Teen Years

teen-and-parentDo you know what needs to change about your parenting as your child approaches the teen years? So far, everything may be going like clockwork, so why change? What’s been working for more than a decade will surely continue working right up until the day your child leaves home, right?

Well, not always.  Some parents are caught off guard, baffled and confused when their teenager begins to turn their back on the family and all the values they hold dear. They thought they had done everything right, but for some reason, their teenager is spinning out of control.

So, how can this be avoided? What is it about your parenting that should change when your children reach the teen years?  Let me give you some suggestions… Continue reading “Parenting Shift in the Teen Years”