Spring Training

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



If you or one of your kids has ever played on a sports team, then you know how much work this “recreational activity” can be.

In a way, raising a family is a lot like training for a sport.  You have to get up early for practice.  You go through the same grueling workout every day.  And by the end, you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Kids can lead to some of the most joyful moments in life.   But you’re training for the win … for the victory on the other side of the test.  And hardship is part of the package deal.

So if your son or daughter is struggling right now … don’t back down.  This is exactly what you’ve been training for!

Did you know that you can listen to all the Parenting Today’s Teens Radio programs via ITunes?  You can also access all programs at www.ParentingTodaysTeens.org.  You’ll be surprised when looking at all the titles of radio programs which are all designed to answer the parenting questions our staff receive.

Constant Correction

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Time for a pop quiz:  Children need to be corrected every time they make a mistake.  True or false?


Kids mess up all the time.  And when they’re young, it’s appropriate for parents to correct and inform them.  But as they become adults, it’s better to take a step back and let their own choices, good or bad, speak for themselves.

Hey, I know how hard it is to stand on the sidelines while your teen makes a bad decision.  But a day comes when they realize the values you instilled in them are like seeds in fresh soil.

Look at it this way:  If you till the earth all the time, you’ll never get a harvest.  At some point, you need to step back … and let the seeds you’ve sown grow.

I’ve never met a family who wants to come to a Families in Crisis Conference, but I’ve met all that have come express how they were glad they did.  This conference is designed for a small group of parents who understand that if the behavior pattern of their teen continues, serious trouble lies ahead.  So they come, hoping to gain new insights and gather some new tools for their parenting toolbox to change the direction their family structure.  Make plans to attend the upcoming Families in Crisis Conference to be held September 25th – 27th at the Hearlight Conference Center in Longview, Texas.  You can find out more information and register by calling 903.668.2173 or by visiting www.FamiliesCrisisConference.com.

Graduation Ceremony

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



A few times every year, I gather the Heartlight staff, teens, and parents to celebrate.

Our graduations at Heartlight aren’t like your typical ceremony.  No flowing robes or funny hats.  No diplomas or special awards.  Instead, we simply come together and reflect on how far a student has come.

In the end, Heartlight graduations are raw and unfinished.  They’re not something you can wrap up and put a bow on.  And that’s okay.  Because we realize our graduate’s problems aren’t gone forever.  But we send them off with tools to handle whatever the future holds.

Maybe it’s time to hold a celebration with your family.  Even though everything isn’t perfect … you can still look back and celebrate how far you’ve come.  Let your sons and daughters know you’re equipping them to handle whatever the future might bring.

If you’re looking for a program to send your struggling teens, please check out Heartlight at www.HeartlightMinistries.org.  Mark, and his wife, Jan began this program 25 years ago, and have seen unparalleled success in those who graduate.  Committed to excellence and dedicated to a relational approach, Heartlight offers help and hope to parents feeling they may lose their child if they don’t get help.

Egocentric Universe

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



His theory led to heated controversy.  Copernicus was convinced that the earth revolved around the sun—and not the other way around.  And for teenagers, the news that the world doesn’t revolve around them can be just as shocking!

We’ve given birth to a narcissistic “me first” generation.  Today’s teens sometimes believe the balance of the universe hangs on their every want and need.  And they need to know that’s not the way it really works.

Mom, Dad … correcting this self- centered mindset begins at home.  Does your life revolve around your teen?  If so, it’s time to put that practice to rest.

Parents should be coaches … not butlers, servants, or chauffeurs.  So stop doing everything for your child … and start training them to have a selfless spirit.  The world does not revolve around our teens!

Can you think of 5 other people that might want to receive our daily PTT newsletter?   Forward this piece to others and you might just be offering a hand of hope to a desperate Mom or Dad who are looking for help and feel somewhat alone with their teen.  Would you help us help others?

Book Smarts

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



When your child was younger, helping him with homework was no sweat.  But have you taken a peek at what they’re learning now?

Supposedly, I knew this stuff at one point in my life.  But some of today’s subjects are way over my head.  Chemistry, Geometry, A.P. World History … kids are brainiacs today.

That’s because they’ve spent the majority of their school years being taught.  And really, they don’t need any more lectures or facts.  What they need, though, is a place to practice what they’ve learned.

Are you the kind of parent that goes around thinking, “What lessons am I going to teach my child today?”

Try this far better approach … “What questions am I going to ask my child today?”

Do this, and they’ll not only be smart, but they will be wise, as well.

Forward this newsletter to other parents that you know.  They’ll be glad that you thought of them!