Articles of Interest:

From time to time I come across an article that I think is relevant and important for parents to read and be aware of.  When I come across them, I will post them here so you can read them at your convenience.  Feedback on the articles is always welcomed and appreciated!

 Five Questions to Ask as You Discipline Your Teenager 
By Doug Fields

 When I was growing up and did something I knew that I should not do, my parents would spank me. My dad had an interesting spanking technique. I can remember him getting mad, deciding he was going to spank me, and then he’d say, “Douglas, go get me something to hit you with.” Today, this sounds funny. Back then, it sounded completely rational. I eventually learned that the longer I took to get something for him to hit me with, the more he would cool off and the easier the spanking would be. Once I was tempted to return with a pillow, but it didn’t seem like he would think it was funny. Spanking a younger child may thwart inappropriate behavior, but there can be a high cost connected to it—emotionally, relationally, and physically. And when kids become teenagers, then what is the parent going to do (especially if the teenager is now bigger than the parent)? Understand that discipline is unique to each situation. There’s no one-way to handle each disciplinary situation, but just smacking a kid when he or she messes up may make a parent feel better for awhile, but there has to be a better, more effective method. There is no one way to discipline children, but some ways are better than others. Here are five questions Cathy and I tried to use when we had to discipline our teenagers:

1. What did you do?
2. Why was that behavior wrong? 
3. How could you have handled it better? 
4. Next time, what do you think you could do? 
5. Should you repeat the wrong behavior, what would be a fair and natural consequence? 

These questions gave us some cool down time and also helped us teach our kids to think about their actions. Sure, there were many times when it would have been a lot easier to simply scream at them, smack them, or send them to their bedrooms. But healthy parenting requires parents to use wisdom, discernment, confidence, and often times, patience. So remind yourself over and over again of the goal of discipline: to teach teenagers responsibility for their own behavior. Then, when the moment for discipline arises, do your best to help both you and your teen to reach the goal.

Here is an article about teen fashion and sexualization of our teen/tweens:

 Culture Snapshot: Parents Influence Teen Sleep Habits

A recent study by researchers at UCLA and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teenagers’ sleeping habits are highly influenced by their parents. Although teens and parents often went to bed and got up at different times, the duration of sleep, general bedtimes and wake up times for both were eerily similar – with teens only averaging 17 minutes more of sleep than their parents on weekdays. The study followed over 300 pairs of teens and parents for nearly two years, with researchers tracking the daily activities and sleep habits of the participants. With the results of the study in mind, parents should evaluate their own sleeping habits, and make changes where necessary in order to role model behaviors that may result in improved sleeping habits by their teens. Why it matters: • Today’s teens are notorious for not getting adequate sleep. A recent study found that in 2012, just 63% of 15-year-olds reported getting seven or more hours of sleep a night, a figure that is down from 72% in 1991. • Researchers have linked the lack of adequate sleep for teens to a multitude of substantial adolescent problems including decreased level of overall health, poorer school performance, an increase in depression, and an increase in the likelihood of involvement in at-risk behaviors. • In February of 2015, the National Sleep Foundation released updated recommendations on the amount of sleep teens and adult should get nightly. The updated recommendations were based on a review of published scientific studies and consensus from a panel of sleep, medical and psychological experts. The new recommendation for teens is 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, and 7 to 9 hours for adults.

Here's something for ALL parents to be aware of concerning pornography:

Want some insight into what the experts are saying about song lyrics and the effects of them on our students?  Take a look at this article:

Saw this great article recently about what teens are saying that they need to hear from their parents!  Take a moment or two to have a peek, it might surprise you!

Here is the link to the article:  


 CPYU- The Center

for Parent & Youth Understanding

CPYU is an awesome resource to help parents keep up to date on youth culture and what their teens are going through.  The teen years can be hard to navigate!  Hopefully the articles and resources provided through this link will help you.  

 The Source for Parents!

     There is a website that has been a gold mine of Youth Ministry knowledge and resources for many many years known as The Source For Youth Ministry.   This site has been filled with valuable resources and insights for Youth Ministers and workers to glean from and be aware of.  Now, the Source team has put together an equally valuable site for parents! The Source For Parents is an invaluable tool to keep you aware and up to date on the culture which this generation is being submersed and brought up in!  Take a look....add it to your favorites....and do your best to KEEP UP with what is going on in the life of your child and those around them!



 Five Tips for Having a Great “Date Night” With Your Kids
By Jim Burns

 Many parents look for the latest parenting fad to help their kids grow into mature adults. Yet one key component for building kids' lives is right in front of them: investing time, energy, and a commitment to “be there” for their kids. A regular, one-on-one 'date night' with each of your teenagers is a great place to begin intentionally investing in the overall health and growth of your child. Here are five tips for having a great 'date night' with your kids.

1) Choose to do something your kids want to do. Sometimes, when parents want to do something together with their kids, they'll select an activity that they have interest in, but their kids do not. If you really want to create a positive “date night” culture where your kids want to hang out with you, try doing things that the kids are interested in. And remember, “date nights” don't have to be complicated! They can be as simple as taking your child out to get an ice cream cone or throwing a Frisbee around in the yard.

2) Communicate. Be sure to engage your son or daughter in conversation during your “date night.” Don’t start by talking about your “list” of concerns you have about your child. Instead, talk about anything and everything. Ask your kids about their interests, opinions, and feelings. 

3) Listen. Don’t dominate “date night” conversation. Communication is a two way street, so be sure to work at listening. Listening is the language of love. Through listening, you demonstrate that you value your kids. When you take the time to really pay attention, show empathy, and listen—you are taking a key step in connecting with your kids. When kids know that their parents will really listen (instead of immediately "correcting") they will be more willing to talk. 

4) Display affection. Even though teenagers are in the process of becoming adults and separating from their parents, they still need your affection. In fact, sexual promiscuity in teenage girls can often be traced back to a desire for (and lack of) affection from their fathers. Dads, be sure to offer your kids genuine affection through loving words, affirmation, encouragement, small gifts, and appropriate touch.

5) Never embarrass your kids in front of their peers. A “date night” activity might take you onto your son or daughter's "territory" – to a place where they may run into some of their peers. Gentle teasing is one thing, but embarrassing your kids in front of their peers can destroy all of the connection you are working to build with your teen. Show respect to your kids and they'll be more willing to hang out with you—and your “date nights” will be much more enjoyable as well.

 Parents Who Overvalue Kids Foster Narcissism 

But the results of parental overvaluation were linked with children scoring higher on narcissism tests then parents who did not overvalue their children, and no link was discovered to better self-esteem. “Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society,” said lead study author, Dr. Eddie Brummelman of OSU. By contrast, the research showed that children whose parents who did not overvalue them, but demonstrated more emotional warmth toward them, were associated with higher self-esteem, but not with increased levels of narcissism. Now What?

 • Understand that parents who overvalue their kids can actually cause long-term damage to them by planting the seed in the child’s mind that the world revolves around “me.” Unchecked narcissism is not an endearing trait in anyone! 

• Kids who grow into emotionally healthy adults have parents who are appropriately involved in their lives. Believe in them but don’t foster an unrealistic view of who your kids are, and are becoming. Teenagers have built-in sincerity “radar,” and they instinctively know when parents are offering praise that is out of step with reality. 

• Parents should give kids unlimited amounts of A.W.E.: Affection, Warmth, and Encouragement. When you offer these priceless gifts, your children will thrive and gain healthy self-esteem! 

• Encourage your kids to develop their gifts, skills, and strengths. Help them to recognize and minimize their weaknesses. But remember that not every kid is going to be the next American Idol, an academic genius, or a professional athlete. Provide lots of emotional support, and help them grow into the person that God has uniquely created.