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Giving Up the Driver’s Seat

My friend’s 15-year-old just got her restricted driver’s license.  You know what that means.  Old dad had to white knuckle it from the passenger’s side.   Talk about nerve-wracking!  But believe it or not, he said the worst part wasn’t the close calls with curbs,  cars and trees… it was realizing that his little girl was growing up… and that he needed to start letting go.   Allowing our children to begin taking...
Jan 30, 2023 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Teen Friends: 4 Things Every Parent Must Know

Giving teens room to grow while guarding them is a balancing act. But there are some things you simply must know about your teen’s friends. First, get to know them. Learn more about their friends by having them over to your house. You'll learn a lot through casual conversation. Second, get to know their parents. Introduce yourself to them and try to discern whether they have the same parenting mind-set.  Third,...
Aug 31, 2018 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

10 Life Skills Your Teen Needs Before Leaving Home

Over the last few years, I’ve watched all 5 of my kids grow up and head out into the world.  Though I can’t be with them as they journey into life after high school, I worked hard to prepare them.  Be sure to share these life skills for teens with them if they’re about to leave the nest.  First, make sure they know some basic cooking skills.  They’ll be much better off knowing how to prepare a few simple, healthy...
May 21, 2018 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

The 3 C’s to Guiding Your Kids through Peer Pressure

Every child faces pressure from peers.  While some of those pressures can be harmless, or even positive, there are a number of negative peer pressures that your child will face over time—being offered drugs, or being encouraged to sneak out of the house with a boyfriend or girlfriend.  To help your child avoid serious consequences, here are 3 C’s to guide your child through peer pressure.  First, communicate. ...
May 15, 2018 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Parent or Pal?

A lot of parents have a hard time telling the difference.  And that’s a problem.  You’ve seen it…a mom dressed like her teenage daughter.  A dad who offers his teenage son a beer while they watch the game.  When mom or dad becomes a buddy, the child loses out on the most important relationship…that of parent and child.  Your kids have plenty of friends, what they need from you is guidance, love, and boundaries....
Aug 26, 2015 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

How to Help Your Teen Deal with Disappointment

Think back to your teen years.  It seemed like everyone had their eye on you.  Everything was a big deal.  When things went wrong, it seemed like the sky was falling and the world was coming to an end.  Dealing with disappointment is hard at any age, but especially during those teen years. Here’s how you can help.  Begin by listening first, not talking.  Your teen needs to know first that they are heard.  When you...
Aug 06, 2015 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Am I Pretty or Ugly?

Girls in their tweens and teens are posting videos on YouTube asking the question, “Am I pretty or ugly?  It’s no secret, the teenage years are full of insecurity. But the Internet is a dangerous place to seek affirmation and attention. It opens your child up to cruel, damaging comments as well as sexual predators. As a parent, it’s your job to affirm and love your child well so she doesn’t look for it in all the...
Jul 17, 2015 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers



The Family Minute is a daily radio feature that offers everyday advice on marriage, parenting, and family relationships.

Mark Merrill

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