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Teens and Depression

The teen years can bring some tough emotional struggles.  Most kids want to be popular and well liked.  If that doesn’t happen, they can turn inward and withdraw into depression, or they can vent outward and do harm to themselves or others.  What can you do?  Encourage your teens to worship.  The Journal of Youth and Adolescence says that religious worship significantly reduces depression among teenagers.  It gets...
Mar 08, 2013 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

How to Interview Your Daughter's Date

I remember when our oldest daughter, 16 years old at the time, came home and told us a boy had asked her to the homecoming dance.  I agreed that she could go but reminded her that I would need to interview him before the event.  She was embarrassed about it but knew it had to happen. You see, I had already prepared her several years before by telling her that I would need to sit down with any young man who wanted...
Dec 27, 2012 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Summer Driving

When teens are out of school they spend more time behind the wheel. That’s why they’re at greater risk during summer break. What can you do to help protect them?  Start by reminding them of the rules for driving and riding in a car. Insist that they wear their seatbelt. Let them know that driving is a privilege. Make sure they understand the dangers of speeding, drinking or texting while driving. Encourage them to...
Jul 02, 2012 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

How to Understand Your Teen

The more the parent understands the teen, the more the teen will connect with the parent. One of the best ways to understand our children is to listen to them and to empathize with them. In those sometimes rare occasions when they open up, seize the moment. Really hear what they have to say by giving them your undivided attention and by paraphrasing back to them what they said. Identify with them in their...
Oct 14, 2011 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Disrespect: What to do When Your Teen is Rude

Your daughter says "I hate you. You're the worst mom in the world," or she lets a few choice words fly at your husband. Blatant disrespect. What do you do? How do you get your child to respect you? Well, you can just ignore it and let your spouse and child work it out—but what kind of message does that send to your child? They need to see a unified mom and dad, parents who support each other with words and...
Oct 07, 2011 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Do You Bail Out Your Kids?

When your daughter forgets her lunch for the third day in a row, do you run it to school? When your teenager drives like a maniac, then wrecks the car, do you pay for the repairs? When they say their homework is "too hard" do you do it for them? Many loving parents with good intentions, me included, intervene between irresponsible behavior and its consequences. But, overprotection can develop lasting dependency...
Sep 30, 2011 / Life Stage: Pre-Teens and Teenagers

Your Teen’s Potential

A French artillery officer invented "night writing" —it was a form of reading by touching raised dots on a page so soldiers could understand written orders without lighting a lantern and risk getting shot. A 13-year-old blind teenager heard about it and pleaded with the officer to make this concept available to the blind. The officer refused, but the teen persevered and simplified the process himself. You may have...
Sep 22, 2011 / 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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