September 30, 2016
Q: Gary, our kids are taking more and more time and my husband and I seem tired ALL of the time. How can we keep our love alive when all focus is going elsewhere?
Gary: Well if all focus is going elsewhere, you can’t keep love alive. there has to be time to stimulate love in a marriage relationship. It’s a matter of priorities. Listen, children are important, but marriage is the most fundamental relationship in a family. If the two of you grow apart, what is that going to do for your children?
I think you need to look again at your schedule. Make time. Put it on the schedule. “We’re going to have dinner on these nights this month,” “We’re going to do this,” etc. Make plans, spend time with each other. Get a babysitter! There are people who would be happy to watch your children while you go out together. You have to make time to have a loving marriage.
July 8, 2016
Q: Gary, my teenager is somewhat secretive. How do I monitor their activity without violating trust?
Gary Chapman: I think teenagers being secretive often has to do with their whole move toward independence. This is a good shift because we want them to be independent by the time they’re 18 and moving on to college or joining the military. At the same time, if they’re being secretive about things that are detrimental to them, that’s a different matter. Even at the expense of their thinking you are violating their space, if you think something very negative is going on, you should violate their space. You should find out and confront them with it because you don’t want to let it get established as a habit in their lives.
January 14, 2015
Is technology bringing your family closer together, or is it driving your family apart? The average American child spends 53 hours a week with media and technology. It is easy for parents to use the screen to entertain their children and keep them happy (which normally means quiet).
Screen time that is not purposeful tends to be a waste of time and a negative influence. Children are like wet cement, and many children are being imprinted by screens not by parents. In my book: Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World, Arlene Pellicane and I seek to give parents practical help with screen management.
January 6, 2015
Parents often find themselves in conflict with their young adult children. Sometimes these conflicts focus on religion. They become involved in a different religion or a cult. How is the Christian parent to respond?
First, let me remind you that the greatest influence you have on your children’s religious beliefs happens in the first eighteen years of their lives. They have heard you and watched you for many years. The closer your practice is to your preaching, the more they respect your beliefs. If you have failed, it’s time to repent and apologize. Then, it’s time to listen and dialogue. The days for preaching are over. They are young adults and you must respect their freedom. It’s the same freedom that God gives to all of us.
December 1, 2014
Q: As the mom, I have the reputation as the disciplinarian toward the kids while my husband is looked at as the “fun one” who stays out of conflict. What steps can we take to balance this out?
Gary: You and your husband need to talk. I think that one of the key issues is learning how to make rules together and decide on consequences together. So that no matter who is at home the same consequence for the same crime is going to be dished out. You’ll find a lot of help in the book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, where we deal with making rules and consequences. I suggest you discuss that chapter together.