Over- Responsible Parents

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


Have you ever noticed that teens who are irresponsible and unmotivated often have parents who are just the opposite?

Hardworking moms and dads often have a tendency to be over- responsible for their children’s lives. Rather than letting their kids take care of their own problems, mom and dad immediately volunteer to step in and help.

But there’s one thing these parents don’t realize. The more that mom and dad do for their child … the less their child has to do for himself!

So has your teen figured out that he can be immature and irresponsible as long as mom and dad are there to rescue him? It’s time to let go, step back … and give him the space he needs to foster independence.

The Three C’s

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


There are three “C’s” in every teenager’s home: change, conflict … and chaos!

After living with teens and working with their families for three decades … I am well acquainted with each of these “C’s”! But let me say this: one of them is avoidable!

When kids grow, change is necessary. Mom and Dad need to flex in order to keep connecting with and training their kids. Then, in every family there will be conflict. Sometimes it comes because a teen is changing. Sometime it comes simply because we’re human.

But chaos … that’s the “C” that doesn’t have to rule your home. Change is scary. And conflict is even worse. But running from change and conflict will only lead to chaos!

Crushing Discoveries

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


No parent ever dreams that their child might experiment with drugs, alcohol or some other dangerous activity. But the reality is … it happens every day. So how can we see past the crushing feelings of grief or betrayal … and help our teens get to a better place?

Once you’ve discovered the truth about your child’s behavior, let it sink in for a few days … and give yourself time to pray and seek counsel.

Then, as soon as you’re ready, confront the issue with your teen. I recommend setting up three separate meetings to expose problems, express feelings, and discuss expectations.

Finally, trust that God will give direction as you walk along the path of this conflict. He promises to stay by your side every step of the way.

WEEKEND: Grace in the Home

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


Guest: Tim Kimmel

Kids are bound to make poor choices and foolish mistakes. So the next time your teen blows it, how can you offer him grace—without letting him off the hook? Heartlight founder and director Mark Gregston talks balancing grace and consequences on this edition of Parenting Today’s Teens.

Crazy Laws

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting, teen culture


Did you know that in Hartford, Connecticut, it’s illegal to cross the street walking on your hands? Or in Wilbur, Washington, it’s against the law to drive an ugly horse?

Nothing undermines the power of a rule more than when it’s totally irrelevant and inappropriate.

And just like how politicians need to reevaluate some of those old, crazy laws … parents need to review the rules in their own home to make sure they’re still practical, attainable, and beneficial.

Do you still make your 16- year- old son hold your hand while crossing the street? Or enforce an 8 o’clock curfew with your 18- year- old daughter? Of course not!

So ditch the crazy laws at home! Your teen will be grateful for boundaries that are practical, attainable, and beneficial.