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Parenting Today's Teens

Parenting Today's Teens

By Mark Gregston
A daily podcast released every weekday, the Parenting Today’s Teens Podcast features Mark Gregston, a parenting expert who has worked with teens and parents for over 45 years. Enlightening, up-to-date, practical, and something every parent would enjoy listening to. Raw at times, challenging at other times, but always hopeful to get your family to a better place in an adolescent culture that is sometimes a little contrary to what you believe and want for your teen.
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Growing Closer With Your Child

Parenting Today's Teens

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The Dos and Don'ts of Discipline
As your child enters their teenage years, they begin to change a LOT — and so should your methods of discipline. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss how you can enforce household rules without sacrificing the relationship you've cultivated with your child. The way you discipline your teen now will make all the difference in how they approach their adult life!   For more advice on how to shift your parenting style to best help your teen, read Mark's article, "How Do We Let Go of Our Old Ways?" at bit.ly/3BH8Gol
13:18
August 18, 2022
No Family Is Immune to Struggle
In this special episode, Mark Gregston shares insights on why it is so important to seek out wise, biblical counsel when dealing with an out-of-control or struggling child. In addition to sharing his own personal story of family hardship, Mark recounts some stories from parents he's worked with over the years who had very different challenges with their teens, but all found the only way forward was to accept the truth and seek wisdom. Listen in now!   For more on how to deal with the most challenging issues in your teen's life, check out Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture," at bit.ly/38Dy7eq
32:22
August 17, 2022
Overcoming the Obstacle of Abandonment
Every teen whose parents get divorced copes with the situation differently, but sometimes when mom and dad go their separate ways, it can leave the child with a sense of abandonment. In this episode, Mark Gregston chats with a few Heartlight teens, including a 17-year-old who came to Heartlight to work through the grief and anger his parents' divorce left him with. Don't miss his insightful interview!   Want to learn more about the residential counseling services at Heartlight? Check out heartlightministries.org
21:25
August 16, 2022
Learning to Parent With Grace
When you think of "parenting with grace," what comes to mind? Is it the elimination of consequences for your teen's bad decisions? That shouldn't be the case! In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd explain that approaching a child with grace does not mean they don't receive consequences, but it DOES mean you will continue to love them no matter what they've done wrong. Tune in for more on this great topic!   Need some more help setting up healthy expectations for your teen? Check out Mark's free e-book, "Developing Rules & Consequences," at bit.ly/3p0X2wZ
15:07
August 15, 2022
How to Make Your Questions Count
Like most parents of teens, you might be familiar with your child answering "I don't know," when you try to ask them about their thoughts or even how their day went. So, how do you get past the wall of "I don't know?" In this episode, Mark Gregston shares some questions you can begin to ask your teen to genuinely engage them and get to their hearts — eventually, they might start to ask YOU deeper questions too! Don't miss this special episode!   Do you have a parenting question you'd like to hear Mark answer? Submit it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K For more great conversation starters to use with your child, check out "Tough Guys and Drama Queens" at bit.ly/3MGVhPi
12:19
August 12, 2022
Love the Most When It's Deserved the Least
Most teens, at their core, just want to know there is no mistake they could make that would cause their parents to love them less. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss why it is SO important for you to communicate unconditional love to your teen. So many things in today's culture are conditional or performance-based — the integrity of your relationship with your child shouldn't be. Tune in for this great discussion!   Looking for more insight on how to genuinely connect with your teen? Check out Mark's article, "Navigating Your Teen's Universe," at bit.ly/3cQhgqr
13:38
August 11, 2022
Give Your Kids Permission to Be Imperfect
One of the fastest ways to damage your relationship with your teen is to constantly demand perfection or place unreasonable expectations on them — you may have great intentions, but it could leave your teen feeling as if they'll never be good enough. Mark Gregston recounts his personal experience with someone who demanded perfection along with some comments from Heartlight teens who share what it's like to have constant pressure from parents. Tune in now!   Moms, you have a tough job! That's why the carry-along "Prayers for My Teen" devotional was created just for you. Check it out here: bit.ly/3EpPSJP
23:42
August 10, 2022
Can Change Be Sustainable?
On today's episode, Mark Gregston sits down with a couple of Heartlight teens, including Emily, who is just about to graduate from the residential counseling program. When Emily first arrived at Heartlight, she struggled deeply with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and more, but in the months she spent on campus, she learned to love herself again. Tune in to hear how she plans to tackle her future after returning home!   Do you have a teen caught in a downward spiral? Check out Mark's book, "When Your Teen is Struggling," for help! Order your copy here: bit.ly/3QHC7Mn
22:59
August 09, 2022
Parents, Learn to Start Saying "No"
Doing everything for your children when they're little is totally acceptable — but when they become teens, continuing to attend to their every need will only enable their selfishness. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd talk about the steps you can take to model selflessness for your kids and ensure they don't grow up to be self-centered adults. Don't miss this important topic!   For more on how to help guide your teen toward healthy independence, read Mark's article, "Balanced Parenting," at bit.ly/3D3zUUW
17:45
August 08, 2022
Pick Your Battles Wisely
Today's teens are living in a culture that is often vile and full of demeaning language, and not surprisingly, this is reflected in today's popular music. So if your teen is listening to music you don't approve of, should you put a stop to it? Is it a battle worth fighting? In this episode, Mark Gregston addresses this question, along with several others, including how to separate mental health issues from behavioral problems, what to do when your child refuses to talk to you and more!   Have a parenting problem you'd like to ask Mark about? Submit your question here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   For more insight on how to guide your teen through today's culture, download Mark's e-book, "When Your Teen Is Struggling," at heartlightministries.org/when-your-teen-is-struggling-offer/
18:36
August 05, 2022
Grandparents, What Do You Want to Be Known For?
If you're a grandparent — or will become one someday — you'll need to examine your relationship with your grandkids and what impression you are leaving upon their hearts. You have wisdom they desperately need, but if you are constantly nitpicking or making your grandkids feel judged, they won't be open to receiving it. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd chat about how you can have a flourishing relationship with your grandchildren. Listen in for some great advice!   Looking for more insights on how to be the best grandparent you can be? Order Mark's book, "Grandparenting Teens," at bit.ly/3hLNliC
13:38
August 04, 2022
The Key to Connection: Listen More, Talk Less
How well do you truly know your children? Do you spend time listening to them at the dinner table? Or is that time simply spent lecturing your teen? In this devotional, Mark Gregston shares the importance of sitting down and asking your teens genuine, well-intentioned questions about their lives and interests — and NOT immediately sharing your opinions. Listen in for more advice on how to build trust with your teen!   For more resources that will help you create a healthy and respectful relationship with your child, check out the Parenting Today's Teens store: resources.parentingtodaysteens.org/
17:26
August 03, 2022
Helping Teens Work Through Grief
When teens push down deep wounds, such as grief and low self-worth, those repressed emotions will eventually explode — often in very unhealthy ways. In this episode, Mark Gregston chats with a couple of teens who are Heartlight residents, including one young lady who lost her father in a brutally traumatic way and struggled to process her grief and heartbreak on her own. At Heartlight, she was able to transform her pain and anger into hope, so don't miss her story!   For more insight on why your teen might be acting out, read Mark's article, "Misbehavior Can Be Sparked By Loss," at bit.ly/3RLEkGZ
22:19
August 02, 2022
Making the Best of the School Year
As the back-to-school season rapidly approaches, your teen might be nervous about returning to the pressures of middle school or high school. So how can you, as a parent, help shift their gaze away from what could go wrong and focus on the positives instead? Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to share advice for parents on how to come alongside their kids and help them make this the best school year yet. Tune in for their insights!    Need some more encouragement on this topic? Download Mark's FREE e-book, "4 Fears of Parents During the School Year," at bit.ly/3cteI1B
15:57
August 01, 2022
Figuring Out a Teen's Spiritual Love Language
So, your teen has declared they no longer want to go to church — what now?! In this episode, Mark Gregston sits down to answer some tough questions, including what a parent's response should be when their teen decides they don't believe in God or they hate attending church. It might be time to examine whether your child's God-given gifts are actually being nurtured in your church, or if they feel like they've been pushed away. Don't miss this important discussion!    Have your own parenting question for Mark? Ask it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   For more on how to help your child as they wrestle with their faith, visit parentingtodaysteens.org/blog/category/faith/
25:18
July 29, 2022
Do You Have a Good Relationship With Your Teen?
Do you know how to tell if you have a good, healthy relationship with your teenager? Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd share FIVE markers you can use to gauge how well you're connecting with your teen and where you could do better. A great starting point is to simply spend more one-on-one time with them! Listen in for more of Mark and Wayne's tips.   For some extra help fine-tuning your parenting approach, check out Mark's Parenting Toolbox at bit.ly/3tGbSMb
13:57
July 28, 2022
When Kids Are Blindsided by Culture
As kids enter their teen years, they get completely bombarded by information, gossip and negative messaging from media sources all around them. Unfortunately, as your teen's head spins with all the info, they can begin to view people as unworthy of respect — especially people in authority. In this devotional, Mark Gregston focuses on how you can maintain the respect you have cultivated with your child throughout their teen years and beyond.   Want to learn more about what the Bible says about parenting? Take a look at Mark's two-week devotional series, "How to Parent Your Teen in a Biblical Way," at bit.ly/3tQqGb5
19:03
July 27, 2022
Adopted Teens: Struggling with Attachment
Adopted teens — and their parents — often have a unique set of challenges throughout the adolescent years as the teen explores questions about their birth parents. Mark sits down to chat with some Heartlight teens, including a 16-year-old boy who was adopted at a very young age. He explains that he struggled to feel a real, genuine attachment to his adoptive parents, which led to fights in the home. Tune in now to hear his story!    If you have an adopted teen in your family, check out Mark's FREE e-book, "Parenting An Adopted Teen," at bit.ly/3P8jn7i
20:44
July 26, 2022
Are Your Habits Getting Under Your Child's Skin?
No matter how well-intentioned they are, many parents have habits they may not even be aware of that drive their teens crazy and damage the relationship. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd go over some of the most common parenting pitfalls you might stumble into that can end up pushing your teen away from you. Listen in now to hear their advice!   Need some more ideas on how to keep a close relationship with your teen? Check out Mark's article, "The Greatest Gift to Give Your Teen," at bit.ly/3O5STSO
16:20
July 25, 2022
How Many Chances Is Too Many?
Most parents experience their teens breaking their trust. But what if you've given multiple chances and the behavior continues? On today's episode, Mark answers some of your most pressing questions on the topic of trust.   Kids are going to break your trust ... but you can use those situations as teachable moments. Whether you've given them two chances or 20, don't give up. Consequences should be given, but should go hand in hand with encouragement to make the right decisions in the future.   Tune in for more and share your own questions with Mark by sending an email to questions@parentingtodaysteens.org.
17:45
July 22, 2022
The Importance of Being a Parent, Not a "Peerent"
Parents are engaging with their kids more than ever before, but when those same kids grow up thinking the world revolves around them, they're in for a rude awakening. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd discuss what happens when you've lost authority with your teen.   Tune in to hear Mark and Wayne answer questions from listeners, as well as share how to have a good relationship with your kids — while not losing authority.   For more information on what to do when your teen is not respecting authority, read one of Mark's many articles on the topic right here: bit.ly/3nyP1yU
12:56
July 21, 2022
Can Your Kids Count On You?
As kids enter their teen years, they become increasingly aware of how uncertain the world can be. They are surrounded by news of wars, school shootings, natural disasters and other anxiety-inducing information — on top of the normal social pressures they face in day-to-day life. Mark Gregston shares a devotional to encourage you to be the certain, steadfast presence your kids so desperately need in their lives. Tune in for his insights!   For more tips and insight on navigating the challenging teen years alongside your child, check out Mark's book, "What's Happening To My Teen?" Order your copy at bit.ly/3zbI5hW
24:11
July 20, 2022
We're All Here for a Reason
So many teens battle depression and other mental health issues, and as parents, it's extremely important to be able to identify cries for help when your teen is in a dark place. In this episode, Mark Gregston has conversations with both current and former Heartlight teens, including a brave young woman who is recovering from injuries caused by a suicide attempt. Tune in to hear her powerful story of finding hope for her future!   If you have a teen that is struggling with self-harm, please check out Mark's free e-book, "What Do I Do When My Teen is Cutting?" at bit.ly/3PeimKT
22:10
July 19, 2022
The First Step Is a Second Chance
Can you remember when someone gave you a second chance after you made a mistake? In the harsh world we live in, your teens need that grace from you, too! In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd talk about how you need to recognize that your child WILL inevitably make mistakes, and you should be ready to give them more chances to get it right. Don't miss this discussion!    For more on the small changes you can make that add up to a great relationship with your child, read Mark's article, "Being a Superhero When Their Lives Suck," at bit.ly/3ujpVaR
11:07
July 18, 2022
Setting Up Balanced House Rules
Creating a home environment with balanced, reasonable rewards and consequences can be crucial for your teen's growth into an independent adult — but it's not an easy process. In this episode, Mark Gregston answers more great questions from parents just like you who want to see their teens succeed. He shares tips on how to avoid arguments, set up house rules for your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend, and more! Listen in now!   In the midst of your own parenting dilemma? Ask Mark about it! Submit questions here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   For more help setting up boundaries and ensuring your home is an emotionally safe place for your child, check out Mark's e-book, "When Your Teen is Struggling," at bit.ly/3nuDAbo
16:20
July 15, 2022
Guilt and Shame: What's the Difference?
It's okay for teens to feel guilt when they do something they know is wrong — but when parents then approach them with shame-filled comments and criticisms, it can cause damage that lasts a lifetime. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to discuss the importance of implementing natural consequences for your teen WITHOUT any shame piled on top. Listen in for more on how to discipline your teen without damaging the relationship!   Mark's article, "Five Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Rules" features more insight on how to establish healthy consequences in your home. Check it out here: bit.ly/3OzJcwM
16:57
July 14, 2022
Beginning Your Journey of Authenticity
Parenting teenagers is no walk in the park — especially when your child is going through a difficult phase and declaring they don't need you anymore. If you have unresolved hurts in your own heart, their behavior can leave you feeling lost and rejected. Mark Gregston shares a heartfelt devotional about how important it is for you, as a parent, to spend time reflecting on who YOU are and any lingering traumas you may have so that you can begin a true journey of authenticity with your child.   For more on working through emotional wounds that might affect your parenting, read Mark's article, "Forgiveness," at bit.ly/3AhH6xk
16:27
July 13, 2022
Real Relationships Require Trust
Experiencing trauma and betrayal at a young age can leave a lasting, devastating impact on a teen's life, and sometimes they need a helping hand to lead them out of the darkness. Mark Gregston interviews two Heartlight teens who share their stories of transformation, including one young woman who found freedom and healing through learning to trust in Jesus. Don't miss these impactful stories!    Interested in learning more about Heartlight's residential counseling center? Please visit heartlightministries.org/about-us/
21:59
July 12, 2022
Is It Time to Measure Your Motives?
Practically every parent can think of things their child does that are bothersome, but are you spending too much time correcting — or worse — nagging your teen about the little things? In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd share how important it is for you to have the right motives and timing when giving feedback or corrections to your teen. Listen in now to hear their advice!    Looking for more tips on how to navigate talking to your teen about their behavior? Read Mark's article, "The Teen Spin Cycle," at bit.ly/3QRWXsq
17:44
July 11, 2022
Are You Keeping the Door Open for Conversation?
Do you make a point to sit down with your teen at least once a week and simply spend some time with them? If not, it may be time to start! In this special episode, Mark Gregston shares a list of conversation starters for you to use with your teen in the midst of a conflict or to encourage them to open up about the challenges they face. Listen in now for Mark's tips on how to have meaningful conversations with your child!   Have a parenting challenge you'd like to ask Mark about? Submit it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   If your family is going through a crisis and you'd like some help from counseling professionals, check out Parenting Today's Teens' Crisis Coaching Program. To learn more, visit parentingtodaysteens.org/phone-counseling/
16:57
July 08, 2022
Helping Your Teen Read the Road Signs
Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss how parents should naturally fall into the role of being a moral compass for their kids as they navigate through their adolescent years. Teens can get lost pretty easily — and it's YOUR job as a parent to spend some time understanding the world and culture they live in. After all, you can't navigate well with outdated maps! Don't miss this important discussion!   For more on helping your teen find their calling in life, take a look at Mark's article, "Teenagers Seeking Purpose," at bit.ly/3Og7zPX
11:20
July 07, 2022
When the Going Gets Tough...
It can be very tempting to totally avoid conflict when there's tension between you and your teen, but it's usually better to confront the problem and walk alongside them in their struggles. In this episode, Mark explains that how you relate and interact with your child during the darkest times of their lives will determine your relationship with them in the future. The best investment you can make is investing in the life of your child!   Looking for more biblical insights on how to have a healthy, rewarding relationship with your teen? Check out Mark's free two-week devotional series, "How to Parent Your Teen in a Biblical Way," at bit.ly/3tQqGb5
17:09
July 06, 2022
Turning a Teen's Life Around
When a teen's home life becomes full of pain and tension, sometimes they see no other way out of the situation other than suicide. But no teenager is beyond help. Mark Gregston listens to the stories of a couple of teens living at Heartlight, including Daniel, who shares how depression and strained parental relationships led him to a suicide attempt. Don't miss his powerful story!    For more on understanding the warning signs that a teen may be severely depressed, read Mark's article, "Suicide Epidemic Among Teens," at bit.ly/3tTmuHP
20:32
July 05, 2022
Be Prepared for Pitfalls
Today's generation of teens faces so many challenges and areas where they can stumble into behaviors that harm themselves or the people around them. It is VITAL for parents to be aware of these pitfalls and be ready to help their teens. In this episode, Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd go over a list of the most common pitfalls so parents can be aware of what to look out for. Listen in now!    Do you have a teen in a downward spiral? Check out Mark's book, "When Your Teen Is Struggling," for more insight on how to help them. Learn more here: bit.ly/3QHC7Mn
17:02
July 04, 2022
Are You Ready to Move From Teaching to Training?
Inevitably, when your child begins to move into their adolescent years, everything will change — and to keep a relationship with them, you have to be ready to change too. In this episode, Mark Gregston tackles some more great questions from parents, including what to do when your kids are using foul language and how to effectively transition your parenting style from a teaching model to a training model. Listen in for the answers!  Do YOU have a parenting question for Mark? Ask it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   Need some extra help with a struggling teen? Check out the Parenting Toolbox, a collection of Mark's best-selling books and teachings, at bit.ly/3tGbSMb
24:24
July 01, 2022
Looking for Love in the Wrong Places
Today's culture has given teens permission to be more sexually involved than ever before — so how do you prepare to confront your child about this behavior or, better yet, prevent it from happening? Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to talk about the reason why teens are sexually active more often and how parents can approach this topic with their kids without shaming them. Tune in now for this important episode!   Need some more pointers on how to continue the conversation about sexual activity with your teen? Read Mark's article, "Teaching Purity in a Seductive Culture" at bit.ly/3oVZ6XD
14:38
June 30, 2022
A Parent's Greatest Challenge
In this devotional, Mark Gregston shares that moms, dads and grandparents have all accumulated something that teens desperately need in today's world: wisdom. However, the challenge lies in finding ways to truly connect with your teen and share that wisdom in a way that is applicable to THEIR current culture, not the one you grew up in. Tune in now for more insight!    For more on how to raise teens to be able to face the challenges of today's world, read Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture." Order it here: bit.ly/38Dy7eq
27:43
June 29, 2022
Recovering from Bad Coping Mechanisms
Teens have more pressure on them today than ever before, and when that pressure is coupled with internal pain, betrayal or strained parental relationships, they often turn to substances to cope. In this episode, Mark Gregston speaks with a couple of Heartlight teens, including one young man who is learning to have an open, loving relationship with his parents again after self-medicating with drugs for years. Don't miss these stories of hope!    For more insight on why teens turn to drugs and alcohol, read Mark's article, "The Hidden Culprit of Teen Troubles," at bit.ly/3MRs2sV
20:22
June 28, 2022
Dealing With an Entitled Teen
So many parents have good intentions and start freely giving money and material things to their children at a very young age. Unfortunately, this can create a monster: an entitled teen. Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to discuss some tips you can use if you find yourself with a demanding, entitled teen. Listen in now for ideas on how to teach your teen the value of hard work and responsibility!    Looking for more tips on how to create healthy expectations for your child? Check out Mark's e-book, "Developing Rules & Consequences" at bit.ly/3OdwGm8
15:49
June 27, 2022
Growing Closer With Your Child
All of us want to feel like we have significance in life — and for teens, the search for their purpose can take them in a lot of different directions. In this episode, Mark answers some more questions from parents and caretakers, including one mom whose daughter's rebellion seems to be getting out of hand. Mark shares how important it is to walk alongside and communicate with your teens as they search for their identities. Listen in for the rest of these great questions!   Have your own pressing parenting question for Mark? Ask it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   For more on how to support your teens in today's challenging world, read Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture." Learn more at bit.ly/38Dy7eq
20:26
June 24, 2022
Teens and Porn: Shaming Is the Wrong Approach
The easy accessibility of pornography in today's culture is something that has a widespread impact on both teen guys and girls, so how can parents be prepared to confront this topic? Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd discuss how shaming or guilting a child who is struggling with porn is not the correct approach, and share some tips for parents on how to have this tough talk with their kids. Tune in to hear their insights!   For more advice on how to safeguard your teen's internet habits, check out Mark's article, "Parenting the Internet," at bit.ly/3xlOTae
10:53
June 23, 2022
Getting to the Heart of Your Teen's Anger
As practically every parent of a teen knows, when your child doesn't get what they want, it can lead to angry outbursts. And if you lose your temper too, it creates the perfect storm. In this devotional, Mark Gregston explains the top three reasons that teens get angry, and how to approach the situation with a calm spirit, a listening ear and gentle words. Listen in now!   If you want to learn more about how to effectively communicate with your teen, check out Mark's book, "Tough Guys and Drama Queens." Order your copy here: bit.ly/3MGVhPi
17:23
June 22, 2022
Taking a Break From Screens
We live in a digital age, and many teenagers today feel like they would really struggle if they didn't have their phones. In this episode, Mark Gregston speaks with some insightful Heartlight teens about their experiences at the boarding school, including what it has been like living without a cellphone. The surprising verdict? They DON'T miss social media! Tune in now to hear their stories!   To learn more about the Heartlight program and how it helps struggling teens, visit heartlightministries.org/boarding-school/
23:14
June 21, 2022
Can Failure Be a Good Thing?
If you, as a parent, look at failure as something to be ashamed of, chances are your teens will too — but inevitably, they WILL take risks and make mistakes. So how should you handle it? Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to talk about how parents need to prepare for when their teens will make mistakes and use those situations as opportunities to grow closer instead of just being critical. Don't miss this important discussion!   For more insight on what to do when your teen slips up, read Mark's article, "Confronting Your Teen's Mistakes," at bit.ly/3MApRtH
12:19
June 20, 2022
Creating New Opportunities
As a parent, what should you do with a teenager who just wants to stay in her room all the time? Or what about when your child really wants to go to a different school than the one you had planned for him? In today's episode, Mark Gregston answers these questions and more submitted by parents just like you. Don't miss these insights!   Do YOU have a pressing parenting question you want to ask Mark? Submit it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K   If you have a teen who is spiraling out of control and you need some more help and encouragement, check out Heartlight Ministries' Families in Crisis online course at familycrisisretreat.com/families-in-crisis-course/
25:56
June 17, 2022
Adoption: Staying the Course
Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to have a special discussion on the challenges parents experience when their adopted children become teenagers. Adopted kids often struggle with their sense of identity during their teen years, but if God called you to adopt, you must remain faithful to that calling even when the road gets rocky. As a bonus, Wayne shares his own adoption story! Tune in now!    For more on this tough topic, check out Mark's free e-book, "Parenting an Adopted Teen," at bit.ly/3GHcab8
17:10
June 16, 2022
Moving From Teaching to Training
In today's digital world, we are under a constant bombardment of information — this is especially true for teens. In this week's devotional, Mark shares that when your child enters their teenage years, it's time for you as a parent to shift from teaching mode to TRAINING mode. Our kids don't need another source of info, they need real wisdom. Don't miss this great devotional!    For more wisdom on how to shift your parenting style, check out Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture," at bit.ly/38Dy7eq
22:55
June 15, 2022
Are Your Kids Truly Being Heard?
Mark Gregston chats with two Heartlight teens who share their stories of turning to drugs and alcohol to mask pain they felt in their hearts. Both young ladies agreed that if they felt their parents would truly listen to them — without judgement — their stories might have turned out differently. Listen to these amazing tales of transformation now!    For more insight on WHY teens turn to drug use, read Mark's article, "Experimenting With Drugs," at bit.ly/3NKpUUP
17:33
June 14, 2022
For Teens, Image Is Everything
Does your teen act like a totally different person on social media than they do at home? This behavior is all too common. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss how the pressures of today's culture on the internet often push teens to portray themselves as someone they're not — or worse, put themselves in real-life danger.    Mark's book, "What's Happening to My Teen?" offers more help for parents who are watching their teen transform into a different person. Check it out here: bit.ly/3zbI5hW
19:41
June 13, 2022
Getting to the Root of the Problem
Mark Gregston sits down to answer some questions from parents about the often challenging reality of raising teenagers in today's culture. This week, Mark tackles what a homeschooling mom should do when her son is acting out, how a Christian family should approach their teen when she declares she is an atheist, and much more! Don't miss this episode!   Do YOU have a parenting question for Mark? Submit it here: bit.ly/3NzKC9K
22:39
June 10, 2022
Finding Boundaries and Balance in the Digital World
Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to talk about different ways to handle and be engaged in your teen's online life. In order to parent well in today's culture and keep up with your teens, you need to commit to becoming a lifelong learner when it comes to technology. Letting your teen teach you their favorite video game or app can be an opportunity to connect. Listen in now!   For more of Mark's insights on how to approach your teen's online activities, visit bit.ly/3MTIWb5
13:48
June 09, 2022
Stop Controlling, Start Trusting
In this special devotional, Mark Gregston shares advice for parents who are engaged in one of the most common struggles you can have with your teen: the battle for control. Teens want nothing more than to take control of their own lives, and while they WILL make mistakes, it's up to you as a parent to begin trusting them to apply all the good lessons you've instilled. Don't miss this episode!   For more insight on this issue, read Mark's article, "Turning Over Control to Your Teen" at bit.ly/3lM3EOe
21:27
June 08, 2022
The Hunt for Identity
When you're a teenager, figuring out who you are and shaping your identity can be a huge challenge and can often lead down some dark paths. Mark Gregston chats with two Heartlight teens whose quests to find out how they fit into this crazy world led them to rock bottom — but thanks to the counseling staff at Heartlight, they now have a brighter outlook on their futures. Listen to these young ladies' powerful stories now!   If these stories sound familiar to you, check out Mark's e-Book, "When Your Teen is Struggling," at bit.ly/3LUUv0I
23:15
June 07, 2022
Teens and Drugs: What to Look Out For
As a parent, you always hope your teen will never turn to drugs or underage drinking — but the reality is the majority of high schoolers have tried alcohol and 50 percent have reported using marijuana, according to the CDC. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to talk about things parents need to keep an eye out for that might indicate your teen has begun seeking relief from life's stresses through substances. Don't miss this heavy-hitting discussion!   For more help on this topic, check out Parenting Today's Teens' resources on drug use here:  bit.ly/3wNNE3l
12:50
June 06, 2022
Can Screen Time Limitations Prevent Connectivity?
In this episode, Mark Gregston answers all your questions about screen time. He shares that the number of teens and pre-teens with cell phones has dramatically increased over the last several years and shares advice from David Murrow’s book, “Drowning in Screen Time.” Tune in for more on helping your teens learn to make independent decisions that help them and you!
27:20
June 03, 2022
Single Parents, God Has Not Forgotten You
Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss advice for divorced parents with part-time custody arrangements. When your teen doesn't live with you all the time, it can be challenging to accept that there are certain things you cannot change about how your ex-spouse might approach parenting. However, it's important to stick with YOUR rules and expectations for your teen in your house, and remember that God will not abandon you — even on the hard days. Listen in now!
11:49
June 02, 2022
All Behavior Is Goal-Oriented
As a parent, one of the most important realizations you can come to with your teen is that every behavior you see is a direct result of hidden motivations. In this devotional, Mark Gregston teaches that you must learn to identify your child's hidden heart issues to have a close relationship with them. Don't miss this important topic!
25:57
June 01, 2022
The Battle for Control
It's no secret — sometimes teens try to take full control of their own lives too early and it doesn't turn out so well. In this episode, Mark Gregston chats with a couple of Heartlight teens who began sneaking out and doing drugs to control their lives, rather than face the pain they felt inside. Listen in to hear them tell their stories!
19:03
May 31, 2022
The Do's and Don'ts of Raising Teens
Do you remember what your mom and dad did that annoyed YOU when you were a teenager? Do you do any of those things to your kids today? In this episode, Mark Gregston chats with Wayne Shepherd about the importance of not overcorrecting your teens or treating everything like a joke. Tune in for these great parenting tips!
14:06
May 30, 2022
Consistency Is Key
In this episode, Mark Gregston answers questions submitted by concerned parents, including one family seeking advice on how to handle their teen son's battle with watching porn. While there are certainly practical steps to take to monitor a teen's viewing habits, perhaps even more important is a parent's ability to consistently share WISDOM on a problem, not just information. To hear more great questions, tune in now!
17:12
May 27, 2022