Power Outage

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Can you remember the last time you had a power outage at your house?

As soon as the lights go off and the appliances power down … things get really quiet.  It makes you feel uncomfortable … maybe even a little vulnerable.

And asking a teen to turn off his cell phone for a night … or close the laptop for a few hours … might ignite the same feelings of apprehension.  But making one evening each week a time to “unplug” from technology can actually be a healthy way to teach him moderation.  And instead, you can play a fun family game and engage with each other in conversation.

You’ll probably hear groans the first time around.  If you make the experience fun, your teen might start looking forward to the weekly break from the web.

Joining us this weekend on Parenting Today’s Teens Radio is my good friend, Sean Meade “Teens and Social Media”.

WEEKEND: Teens and Social Media

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram. As social media continues to expand at a rapid pace, parents are finding it harder and harder to keep track of what their kids are doing online. Today on Parenting Today’s Teens, Mark Gregston answers questions from moms and dads about monitoring social media use.

Get daily updates and encouragement; follow @markgregston on Twitter at twitter.com/markgregston.  Did you know that you can download the Parenting Today’s Teens radio program into your ITunes?

Lost in a Corn Maze

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Have you ever been in a corn maze?  Acres and acres of corn stalks.  No wonder it’s so easy to get lost!

The Internet can be a dangerous and unfamiliar place.  Giving our teens unlimited access to the world wide web is like setting them down in the middle of a corn maze on fire.  And nothing’s more important than giving your son or daughter some clear-cut rules.

Things like, “no more than two hours a day on the Internet, unless it’s for homework.”  Or let them know that “Mom and Dad are allowed to put up filters and check Facebook pages.”

The Internet boundaries in your home are up to you.  But don’t walk away from this one!  Taking these firsts steps can help protect your teen from getting lost in a maze of danger online.

Today, parents are arriving from all over the country to attend a Parenting Retreat at the Heartlight facility in Longview, Texas.  Mark leads 18 of these parenting seminars, along with 8 Families in Crisis Conferences a year.  Just about all the other weekends, he’s traveling across the country leading Tough Guys and Drama Queens Seminars.  Visit www.ParentingTodaysTeens.org and find one of his seminars to be held close to you.

Relationship Substitutes

Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Like margarine and butter, or sweeteners and sugar, there’s a big difference between communication … and connection.

We tend to think that our kids are part of one of the most sociable generations ever.  They’re constantly texting.  They have more friends on Facebook than days in the year.  And sure, while Skype and social media have led to a boom in adolescent communication … it’s also led to a breakdown in meaningful connection.

Mom, dad, let me encourage you to set an example for your teen.   Show them what meaningful connection looks like.  Let your daily, face-to-face interactions be a model they can use for building personal relationships.

When a teen sees the real thing, they’ll never be satisfied to settle for a substitute.

One of Mark’s latest books, Tough Guys and Drama Queens is on sale now at www.parentingtodaysteens.org.  Mark states that its one of his best books and provides a clear and concise method to counter the effects today’s culture is having on teens. Click here to check it out.


Written by Mark Gregston. Posted in Parenting



Mom, dad … do you know the one thing that your teen needs from you the most?

It’s not a car.  It’s not guitar-lessons.  It’s not permission to get a tattoo.  What kids today need more than ever is a relationship.  A real, genuine,  face-to-face relationship.

Today’s teens are disconnected from real life.  The average child spends about ten hours a day staring at a screen … like computers, phones, TVs, and tablets.

Have you taken time today to sit down and have a face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball conversation with your teen?  Try setting the example … and put your phone away first.

The relationship with your teen is something that can never be replaced.  Your son or daughter is simply too valuable.

Put the phone down, shut off the computer, and talk to your teen.

If you would like Mark to come speak at your church, please call Sam Sheeley at 903.668.2173 to find out how to make that happen.  Or you can and follow the online instructions here to schedule Mark to come speak.