My Prayer for Bullying

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


The scars we receive from bullies never fade … even as adults.

I’m convinced that the escalating conflicts with bullies will never end … until parents step in and model what’s right. And right now, I’d like to pray for all of us … as we guide our teens.

Father, show us how to help our kids. Teach us to intervene. Like You … allow us to become their great protector. We want to walk beside them if they’re being bullied … and we want to rebuke them if they dare offend others.

Sarcasm and biting criticism are never part of Your character. It’s never Your will that we would willfully offend or hurt the innocent. So help us to become models of Your mercy, love and grace.

Father, empower us to engage our kids as never before. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.


A Prize Possession

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


Hanging on the wall in my office is a plaque I received back in 1975. The now yellowed and worn certificate was given to me by one of the first groups of teens I counseled … and it simply says, “Thanks for caring.” To this day, it remains one of my most prized possessions.

That plaque is a regular reminder that there’s no such thing as too much gratitude. But we seldom hear those encouraging words from our kids.

When was the last time you heard, “Hey, Dad, thanks for helping me with my school project.” Or, “Thanks so much for dinner, Mom. It was delicious!”

Well, we can’t exactly demand gratitude. But we can model it. So this Thanksgiving, and in the year to come, let’s live in a way that shows what it means to be thankful.

Disrespect at Home

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


When disrespect in your teen rears its ugly head, it’s time to make sure everyone understands the rules for fighting fair.


Disagreements are a natural and important part of healthy relationships. But teens need to learn how to argue with respect. So if you’ve got a disrespectful teenager at home, here’s the kind of message you can deliver:

“We love you, and that will never change. But we won’t allow you to talk to us that way anymore. We understand your need to argue your opinion, but there’s a better way to do it. So from now on, disrespectful words or actions will not be tolerated. And we’ll throw in some extra consequences to boot.”


Make sure your teen clearly understands that you’re willing to listen … but you’re not a punching bag.


Some day … he will thank you.

A D.I.Y. Parenting Project

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


If the paint on the side of your house began to peel … or the roof started leaking … or your porch light burned out … would you just sit around and do nothing? Of course not!

When things start to fall apart around the house, we instinctively grab a screwdriver, reach for a paintbrush, or do whatever it takes to get things back in order. And in like manner … our relationships need maintenance, too!

Has your relationship with your teen become damaged by conflict, tension, or poor communication? Sounds like it’s time for a little home improvement!

Take on this important do-it-yourself project … before it’s too late. Read a good book. Attend a helpful seminar. And above all … keep reaching out to your teen.

When It’s Hard to Be Thankful

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. But for parents of struggling teens … I know that some days are harder to be thankful for than others.

Maybe you’ve spent the last few months helplessly watching your teen spiral out of control. Tension and tempers are running high … and you’re starting to lose hope that things will ever get back to normal.

I wish I could offer a quick fix … but I can’t. All I can offer you is hope.

God hasn’t forgotten about you or your family. Your nightmares are never out of His sight.

Maybe this Thanksgiving hasn’t turned out as you wished. But rest assured … “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”