March 28, 2013
It is essential that teenagers feel loved by parents. I remember Ashley, who at 13 was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease. She said, “When my father left, I thought it was because he didn’t love me. When my mother remarried, I felt she had someone to love her, but I still had no one to love me. I met this boy at school. He was older than me, but he liked me. I couldn’t believe it. He was kind to me, and I really felt loved by him. I didn’t want to have sex, I just wanted to be loved.”
Do you know your teens love language? I wrote my book: The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers to help parents love teens effectively. Does your teen feel loved?
February 7, 2013
Often, love must be tough. When a young person finishes high school and is not motivated to work or go to college, what’s a parent to do? Do we simply let them sleep half the day and party with their friends every night? Not if you love your child. It’s time for a family conference. Mom and Dad need to be united. The message is, “We love you very much. We will help you go to college, get technical training, join the military, or get a job, but we will not support your present lifestyle. We will give you six weeks to decide what direction you want to take. We love you too much to watch you waste your life.” The decision now rests with the young adult. Tough? Yes! But loving!
January 24, 2013
I thought that when children turn 18 they were supposed to get a job, go to college, or join the military. It seems like it’s taking longer to get the kids out of the nest these days. Many young adults are choosing to remain at home while going to college. Or, they want to take a year to travel, or just relax. What’s a parent to do? The mother eagle picks her young up and drops them in open air. They either fly or she rescues them a time or two. But eventually they fly. How do you do that for your young adult children? It all starts when they are in their early teens. You plant the idea that at 18, when they finish high school, they need to have plans. Without plans, they flounder. It’s the loving thing to do.
January 18, 2013
Q: I want to encourage my teen daughter to not make the same mistakes I made. What are some good starting points?
A: I think it’s healthy when a parents looks back and realizes that when they were teenagers they did some things that were detrimental to their development. Certainly, we would like out children to avoid that. Honesty, I think, is a good policy. That is, be straight forward and honest. You could say to them, “You know, I made a serous mistake when I was your age and I’ve never told you this but want to tell you because I do not want you to do the same thing I did.” If that teenager feels loved by you and feels that you really are concerned about them, then they are likely to hear that in a possible way and you may well keep them from make the same mistake that you made.
December 27, 2012
The most important building block of parent-teen relationships is love! Most parents sincerely love their teenagers, but thousands of teens do not feel loved. For most parents, it is not a matter of sincerity, but rather lack of information on how to effectively communicate love. We are so concerned about the teens behavior that we often come across as condemning. And, the teen feels rejected. When you need to instruct a teenager, make sure you speak love before you give the instructions. Give affirmation before you give information. For example, “I really appreciate the energy you spent in washing your car. It looks nice. Now, let’s be sure to keep that shiny car below the speed limit; otherwise, it will be my car for the next two days.”
December 25, 2012
You would be surprised to learn how many teens feel unloved by their parents. It’s not that the parents don’t love them. The problem is that the teen does not feel loved. When teenagers feel unloved, they are far more likely to become sexually active, start using drugs, and get involved in trouble with the law. The answer? Learn to speak the love language of your teenager. What are the five love languages? Words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Out of these five, your teen has a primary love language. If you speak it, your teen will feel loved, if you don’t the love tank will be empty. Much of the teens miss-behavior comes from an empty love tank.
September 7, 2012
The short answer is to make sure you know her love language and give her heavy doses of her primary love language. But let me remind you that teenagers often withdraw from their parents socially, emotionally and intellectually. It’s a part of growing up and moving toward independence. So some of that is going to have to be accepted. However, it is important that your daughter feel loved because if she does not feel loved by mom and dad, she will go looking for love in the wrong places.
Learn her love love language, give her heavy doses, sprinkle in the other 4 love language, and make sure she’s secure in your love. You’ll be giving her the greatest gift you can give a teenager.
August 20, 2012
Group dates—going out with friends where there are several guys and girls together who don’t pair off—can be healthy. But indivuidal dating ought to be reserved for 16 and aolder. Once they get there, you tell them, “Be careful what you do with each other. Don’t let a guy on the first day kiss and hug you, he’s using you when that happens. If that does happen, that’s the last date you have with him.” So, have some guidelines and typically if they feel loved and supported by you, they’ll listen to what you have to say.
July 16, 2012
Q: My high school daughter had come to me repeatedly asking to get a tattoo. Several of her friends have them. Do you have an opinion on this?
A: I think you have to share with your child why you don’t think this is a good idea. Obviously, one reason is it’s a life long thing and very hard to retract. I think I would try to put this off as long as I could—maybe tell her she can get a tattoo when she’s 21 when she’s on her own and can pay for it herself. So, you can push it out into the future until she gets a little more mature and decides for herself that maybe getting a tattoo isn’t a good idea.
May 28, 2012
Well I must confess that I sometimes have the same feeling when I simply walk around in public places and see young ladies or teenagers dressed in ways that are very provocative. I want to take this question as an opportunity to say to parents: Please understand the difference between males and females. Men are sexually attracted by sight and the way a woman dresses draws the attention of a man toward her or he simply sees her and respects her as a woman. How she dresses makes a huge difference in how he responds. So I hope parents will hear what we’re saying and will take this seriously and have honest conversations with their young daughters about this.