Parenting Teens Blog

Parenting Teens Online Class: Back to School

Dear Parents,

I know, I know! I can’t believe it either! School is here again and I don’t remember summer even starting!

Some parents cheer because order reigns again. Others are sad because they are one year closer to graduation. And then there are some of you who are completely conflicted in how you feel. You are glad that a normal schedule begins again, but have a hard time that it has come and gone so quickly. But then hasn’t it at every turn? Every age from infancy on has come and gone as quickly as a wink and sometimes it feels as if we have missed so much of it.

So many firsts, so many onlys, so many times that we swore we would never forget have come and then faded in the busyness of raising those very teenagers!

We are very good at planning and scheduling and mainstreaming and multitasking. For just a moment, be still. Be still enough to hear the crickets with your teen on this late summer night. Be still enough to play a game of checkers and then make the winner’s favorite milkshake. Even be still enough to just listen at the bottom of the stairs as your teen laughs out loud while watching their favorite show!

Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God!” Show your teenager that it is necessary to stop for a moment if only because God commands it. Know that God has created every moment and every moment was created for you. Each moment with your teenager is a gift God has given you. Treasure it because soon this moment will be a memory.

Please take a moment to watch this:


Homework, parent/teacher meetings, football games, and choir programs are the agenda for the next 10 months! School is here and buying a composition notebook is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack, because everybody else got to them first!

But I just want to encourage you to let your teen know that this school year is going to be a good one! Now I know some of you groan as I say this, but just think how your teen feels if you are dreading it! They are the ones that deal with the homework, and the teachers, and the other students!
They need us to encourage them! They need to know that they aren’t alone in this. I know it’s hard to watch your teen struggle in school or with friends. It kind of comes down to the same way our God “parents” us.
When we mess up, we know He will give us grace. Even when we are in the midst of a consequence that we created because of a choice we made, we know He will never leave us or forsake us. We know He wants us to succeed!
Do our teens know that about us?

Sit down with them before this school year ever begins and tell them. Tell them that if they get a bad grade you will be there to help them succeed the next time. Tell them that if they have a teacher that they don’t get along with that you will be willing to step in and talk with that teacher. Tell them that you will give them mercy and grace because you love them.

For some of us, school brings back some serious nausea. It just wasn’t always a good or happy time. Maybe, just maybe, we can help change that for our teens.

Tweetable Thoughts

  • Be still and know that I am God! Psalms 46:10
  • School is a necessity, but success in school is a choice! #schoolisin
  • Encourage and be encouraged!
  • Ask your teen how you can help them make school a better experience today!
  • Please encourage your teen’s teachers! #hardestjobever
  • Remember, school is just a part of the whole!
  • A grade can be all-consuming. Information is not knowledge or wisdom! #havegrace
  • Ask yourself “Do I want my child to have knowledge or wisdom?”
  • You are their best teacher!
  • Have enough confidence in your teen that they can borrow from it when they have none themselves!

Feel free to forward this email to other parents of teenagers and have them email me if they would like to join our online parenting class.

Tim Hamm – Threshold Jr (Grade 6-8) –
Mathew Povey – High School Ministry (Grade 9-12) –

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Parenting Teens: Contract Pack


So are giving you these contracts?
We don’t want you to try to manipulate your teenager’s behavior with a document…
We don’t want you to think you can sue your teenager if they breach this contract…
We don’t have any illusions that just because your teenager signs this document they
will magically be able to perform perfectly.

That’s not at all why we created these contract. In fact these are not contracts at all. They are communication tools. You see whether you believe it or not, there is a negotiation happening in your home every day.
Your teenager wants freedom. You want to give them freedom, but the price for that
freedom is to earn your trust.  READ MORE

Included in this Contract Pack:

  • Parent’s Guide to the Contract Pack
  • Cell Phone Contract with Text
  • Cell Phone Contract Template
  • Video Game Contract with Text
  • Video Game Contract Template
  • Home Alone Contract with Text
  • Home Alone Contract Template
  • Technology Contract with Text
  • Technology Contract Template

Download the contract files here:

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Parenting Teens Online Class: Broken Trust

Dear Parents,

Nobody told you when you had children how personal it would feel when that very same child made a mistake that broke your trust. Nobody told you how much it would hurt your feelings. And, I don’t even know if anyone ever told you how important it would be to let your teen know that trust can be restored!

But let me tell you now! It is imperative that your teenager knows that no matter how big of a mistake or a mess they make, you haven’t slammed the door on them. Sometimes that is really, really hard.

Teenagers have no idea that the decisions they make, good and bad, are absorbed into the very heart of you, their parent. And, as parents, you often give that decision great influence over your confidence as a parent! Let me say this and please hear me. The choices your teenagers make do not define you as a parent! They are your teenager’s choice.

Your job was and has always been to teach them what is right and then give them the freedom to choose. The second part of that same job is to teach them about the consequences of all choices. And when that choice is made in the heat of the moment that is guided by maturing teenage logic and wisdom (or lack thereof), we as a parent need to let that teen know trust can be restored. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but at some point that trust can be brought back to its original condition.

Please take a moment to watch this:


“How could you hurt me like that?” Have you ever wanted to scream those words in the face of your teen? Or at least murmur them in passing? Although screaming might be somewhat of a stress reducer!

Your teen often has no idea the power that they hold over you to hurt your heart as a parent. That’s why sometimes they don’t understand why you have to take a step back in order to process what they have just done or said that brings you pain.

In order for our teens to learn how to restore trust with us, they also have to learn that sometimes we just need a moment to work through the pain that they just caused us. Anytime something causes pain, our initial reaction is to push away. We can’t do that when it is our teenager causing the pain.

When King David broke trust with God by taking another man’s wife and then killing that same man (I Samuel 11 & 12) God didn’t immediately confront David. I Samuel 11:27 says, “When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her (Bathsheba) to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.” The time of mourning for Jews was at the least 30 days, and it also says that Bathsheba bore David a son by the time the prophet Nathan appeared to tell David what God had to say.

My point in sharing this story with you is to remind you that when your teenager makes a choice that is diametrically opposed to Godly principles you have always taught, you need to take a moment or a day or even longer to work through the anger, the fear, and the sadness of the results of broken trust. You will be better able to help your teen understand that their choices affect so many more people than just themselves. You can teach them how to take responsibility, ask for forgiveness, and recognize how to restore that trust with you. Whether you know it or not, your trust is very valuable to your teen. Have you ever lost something of value? How much more valuable is it to you when you find it again? Don’t you take better care of it?

And so will your teen.

Tweetable Thoughts

  • The definition of restore is “to bring back to the original condition”. What is the condition of trust between you and your teen?
  • Tell your teen, “No matter what happens next, I choose you!”
  • Where trust is, love can grow.
  • The first step in learning to trust again…pray together.
  • “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom
  • The second step in learning to trust again…listen to each other. Don’t just hear.
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
  • Saying “I’m sorry” gives a place for trust to grow.
  • The third step in learning to trust again…pray together again. And again. And again.
  • It’s okay to mess up. It’s what you do with the mess that matters.

Feel free to forward this email to other parents of teenagers and have them email me if they would like to join our online parenting class.

Tim Hamm – Threshold Jr (Grade 6-8) –
Mathew Povey – High School Ministry (Grade 9-12) –

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Parenting Teens Online Class: Friends Part 2

Hey Parents!

If you missed last week’s video you can watch it here:

In the video for this month, we gave you some basic action steps on helping your teen choose friends wisely. I want to include those in this email so that you can have a resource to use when you need it!

Give them tools to wisely choose their friends. (recognizing the influence friends have, making a list of qualities they want in a friend, understanding what Godly qualities look like)
Help them to create boundaries with their friends. (boundaries of respect, time, influence)
Teach them how to let a friendship dissolve. (When it is unhealthy, when it has run its course, without letting it affect their self esteem when a friend walks away)
Take a step back! (Guide them in their choice but don’t control, encourage them without manipulating them, understand that this is a very important step in the life of your teen, don’t take it personally)
One of the most beautiful pictures of friendship in the Bible is the relationship between David and Jonathan throughout I Samuel. In chapter 18 it says ,”…Jonathan committed himself to David, and loved him as much as he loved himself.” It often seems hard to find that kind of friendship any more. But not impossible!

The greatest lesson to be learned from the friendship of Jonathan and David is not what to look for in a friend, but how to be the kind of friend that honors God. Trustworthy, honest , kindhearted, loyal, and faithful are all wonderful qualities to find in a friend. Our teens need to know those qualities must be fostered in themselves first and then searched for in others.

Feel free to forward this email to other parents of teenagers and have them email me if they would like to join our online parenting class.

Tim & Mathew   Tim Hamm – Threshold Jr (Grade 6-8) – Mathew Povey – High School Ministry (Grade 9-12) –

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