Category: Family

Teens Need To Be Loved By Their Parents

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?

Honoring Parents Without Being Controlled By Them

A common question I hear in my office is this: “I want to honor my parents, but they are constantly trying to give us advice. How do I let them know that we need to make our own decisions?” Three things are important when you are dealing with parents who give advice too freely. First, you must understand that their intentions are good. Second, there is a good chance that your parents have more wisdom than you. Third, it is true that your parents should not control your life after you are married.  So, I have four suggestions: (1) ask for your parent’s advice before they give it. (2) Give consideration to what they say. (3) Pray for God’s wisdom. (4) Make the decision that you and your spouse think is best. This is honoring parents, but not being controlled by them.

Q&A: Guns In The Home With Kids Around

Q: What are you feelings about having guns in the home? My husband has a collection and sometimes it makes me nervous with my children also here.

A: I certainly understand what this wife is saying because for some people, guns are very fearful. To other people, who grew up in homes where the family was involved with hunting, target practice and that sort of thing, guns are not all that fearful. It has to do with whether you’ve been trained in safety with guns; likely your husband has and you probably have not. So I would suggestion that you expose yourself to the guns and learn the safety issues of the gun. I’d also suggest that the guns be locked up so the children do not have access to them.

Viewing Marriage As A Covenant

When Dr. Ross Campbell and I were writing our book: How To Really Love Your Adult Child, we discovered research data that indicated that when single adults, ages 20-30 were asked to describe the kind of marriage they would like, 87 percent said, “I want to have one marriage that will last a lifetime.” They have seen their parents divorce and that is not what they want. However, many of them have no idea how to have a life-long marriage. I’d like to suggest that it begins by viewing marriage as a covenant, not simply a contract. A covenant is initiated for the benefit of the other person. “I love you so much, and I believe that I can enrich your life.” That is covenant language.

Love Must Be Tough

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!

Don’t Let Adult Children Destroy Your Marriage

One mother said, “Our son needs our help. He is not capable of making it on his own. But my husband wants to kick him out. I just can’t do that.” Both the mother and the father want what is best for the child. They just happen to disagree on what is best. Both of their thoughts are legitimate. The child probably does need help, but the child also needs to be moving toward independence. Therefore, whatever help you give should lead to greater independence. Support a child financially as long as he/she is getting training for a better job.

Q&A: Husband to do More as “Provider”

Q: I often feel unloved because my husband does not provide for our family the way I think he should financially. How can I encourage him to do more?

A: We have to recognize that in today’s culture, it is not always easy to get a job that will provide for the family financially. Many men are working but they are not making enough to provide for the family, and the prospects of finding another job are not very good at this point. So I would say that a wife, particularly at this juncture, needs to be very understanding. If he is making an effort, maybe he’s working two part-time jobs, praise him for the effort and hard work that he’s doing rather than condemning him for not bringing home enough money to feed the family. Also, do what you can to help him temporarily.


When Dr. Ross Campbell and I wrote our book: How To Really Love Your Adult Child, we discovered many parents who were frustrated with their young adult children. They were anticipating an empty nest, but the young adult is not ready to fly. So, what’s a parent to do? They must give the child more freedom and more responsibility. Freedom and responsibility are opposite sides of the same coin. If they are going to live with parents, they need to assume responsibilities in the areas of finances, chores, and common courtesies. In our book we suggest guidelines. It’s the only way to have a peaceful household. Responsibility is a part of becoming an adult. Love holds children accountable.

When They Want To Keep Living With You

What do you do when your young adult children want to keep living with you? The best thing you can do is call a family conference. Let’s find out why they want to continue living at home. Is it so they can save money while attending college? Is it because they are lazy and don’t want to work. Is it because they need a little extra time to emotionally prepare for the real world? Let’s make sure the reason for staying at home has purpose. Secondly, let’s get a plan for moving the child toward independence. No young adults will ultimately be happy with themselves if they don’t see a future. If they are physically or mentally incapable of living independently, that’s another matter. Love encourages independence.

The Need To Have Plans

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.