Teens Who Demand and Parents Who Don’t

Written by Mark Gregston.

Teens Who Demand and Parents Who Don’t

Teens today seem much more demanding than recent generations.  That’s relatively new, but what’s not new is that teens are also less mature today.  Add the two together and what you get is kids who expect their parents to be a walking, breathing ATM machine.

Parents who continually meet the financial demands of a teen fail to realize that they are unwittingly postponing their teen’s development into a responsible and mature adult.  That’s because generosity and a parent’s desire to provide for their child often gets misinterpreted by the teen, leading them believe that this provisional lifestyle will continue endlessly.  They want more and more and appreciate it less and less.

It echoes the attitudes of the Prodigal Son found in scripture, with one difference. Today’s prodigals don’t leave home.  In fact, they are comfortable at home because they can continue a self-centered and lavish lifestyle right under their parent’s noses, with no real-life consequences to help them come to their senses.

Teen Anger Provoked By Parents

Written by Mark Gregston.

Teen Anger Provoked By ParentsIf you hadn’t noticed, teenagers are in an overactive state of emotion most of the time. It doesn’t take much to bring them to the point of exasperation. They can only take so much pressure before they shut down or act out of frustration or anger instead of clear or right thinking. Sometimes they’re provoked to the point of putting up walls of protection around themselves.

Maybe It’s Time to Shut-Up

Written by Mark Gregston.

Maybe It’s Time to Shut-UpThere is nothing so demeaning as assuming your child can’t think for himself. There is nothing so disrespectful as throwing your child’s mistakes back in his face and condemning him. Keep in mind that I am referring to teenagers here, not your 2-year-old.

Know Pain Know Gain

Written by Mark Gregston.

Know Pain Know GainIf pain were knocking on your door, you wouldn’t welcome him, invite him in, or help him in any way. You would send him to the next neighborhood, reassuring him that he was at the wrong address.

Parents in trouble with their teen call me when they are in pain and need help, but I’ve learned that many are just looking for an affirmation or justification of their own plan or ideas. Sadly, most people only accept advice when they agree with it, when it fits into their own time schedule, and when the outcome is what they predicted.

Could You Be the Prodigal?

Written by Mark Gregston.

Could You Be the Prodigal?In a world where parents indulge their kids with everything they want, it would seem that these kids would be especially grateful.  Instead, a generation has become selfish, self-centered, and unprepared for real life.

A dictionary definition of a “prodigal” is “one who spends or gives lavishly and foolishly.”  You may think your teenager is acting like a prodigal these days, but have you considered that according to this definition, you may be the prodigal yourself?

Connecting with Your Teen

Written by Mark Gregston.

Connecting with Your TeenEvery parent of a teenager wants to build a strong line of communication with his or her teen. But sadly, the opposite is most often true. I’d like to share with you some simple tips to improve your communications with your teen.

What’s this Teen “Cutting” Thing?

Written by Mark Gregston.

What’s this Teen “Cutting” Thing?Some young people today live in a world that goes “over the edge.” The “edge” of pain doesn’t stop them in their pursuit of eliminating boredom and creating excitement. Piercing, branding, cutting, tattoos, cosmetic surgery, reality shows, and expressive and permissive movies are now a part of the culture. Some say that kids are more “daring” and “extreme.”  I say they’re numb and dissatisfied…and pain is a way for some to remind themselves that they’re still alive, a comment I hear from a number of cutters.  Sadly, finding a kid who “cuts” (a form of self harm) is pretty common today.  A topic that 20 years was unheard of on the radio or in Christian social circles is the focus of many discussions among parents and commonplace among teens.
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