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9 Truths to Cling to if You Feel Like the Worst Mother Ever

I stood in the driveway barefoot with tears running down my cheeks as I watched my 20-year-old son, Will, pull out of the driveway. I had no idea where he would spend the night. I didn’t know who he would meet on his trip. I wondered why I agreed to let him drive across the United States, alone.Just before he left, I slipped an envelope of emergency cash into his truck, along with a bag of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and a Gatorade Frost. Then, he set out. Will planned to hike, rock climb, and camp his way across the country for over two weeks until he started his summer job in Northern California.Even though that May morning was beautiful, my heart felt empty, bleak, and cold. What if he runs into a serial killer? What if he falls off the side of the Grand Canyon or gets devoured by a mountain lion? I was sick with fear. Questioning my judgment. Beating myself up. Even though my husband and I made the decision together to let Will drive to California, guilt crept in anyway, pressing down on my heart like a stone.Mothers (and fathers) have to make endless decisions for their children. Sometimes, I’ve used good judgment, and sometimes not. Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you, too, have stood tearfully in the driveway proclaiming yourself to be the “Worst Mother Ever” like I have.If so, I’d like to share some truths with you that I’ve learned to cling to:
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Halfpoint

Things Every Middle Schooler Needs to Hear

Nobody feels cool in middle school - not even the self-proclaimed orassumedcool kid crowd. It's one of the times in our lives when everything changes at once. The time we need to be reminded of what doesn't change.

Why Every Parent Should Talk to Their Teen about Mental Health

Emails, text messages and Facebook messages poured in minutes after I had posted a photo of myself and my daughter hanging out in the hammock, my new war;or tattoo on display with the semi colon replacing the i.The messages weren’t about the tattoo but rather the meaning of the semicolon within it. A semicolon is used when an author could have ended a sentence with a period but didn't. The semicolon means to “continue.” It became a symbol of hope in the mental health community after Project Semi-colon launched.It carries significant meeting to me due to battling depression most of my adult life because in early 2004, I nearly lost my life to suicide. The subject of mental health in the Christian community seems to be taboo because many are under the assumption you can “just pray depression away.” However, this is unfortunately not the case for most situations--which is one of the many reasons about Project Semi-Colon became a bluegrass movement.In 2013, Amy Bleuel started the faith-based nonprofit movement that is dedicated to "presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury," according to its website. According to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. It is currently the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise. Research also found more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death.Photo Credit:© Getty Images/fizkes

How to Detect if Your Child Is Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Watch their behaviors and keep tabs on if they are going through a phase that requires help; more than likely, they will not come to you for help. Also, notice how they speak to themselves and about others. If they ask if they look like they’ve gained weight in a worrisome way or seem overly concerned with weight in themselves or others, there may be something more going on in their heads. Emotional signs can tell what their bodies may not show.

5 Worries Mom Have about Teens and How to Surrender Them to God

The Bible says not to worry. God will provide for all our needs. And that is absolutely true! So why do moms continue to worry about their kids—especially their graduating teens?Do we really believe God won’t come through? Are we impatient and wanting the Lord to act quickly? Maybe, we think if we worry enough we might prevent something bad from happening. (I’ve been guilty of this!)Whatever the case, there are worries moms have about graduating teens—worries that seem to affect most moms on the planet. However, there are ways to surrender those worries to the Lord and find peace as our teens graduate and make their way in the world.Here are 5 worries moms have about graduating teens and how to surrender them to God:Photo Credit: ©Kikovic

15 Things Young People Need to Hear Right Now

Today’s young people have it even harder. Often, living in an increasingly electronic world with few effective controls, they’re bombarded with visuals and headlines far too advanced for their young eyes — and have been since they were small.

5 Things Not to Say to Teens

Christ showed love at the most inconvenient times. Will you follow His lead and show teens compassion as you shepherd them lovingly? Or will you do nothing more than count down the days until they’re out of your hair for good?

12 Things to Pray for the Teens in Your Life

Being a teenager is hard. Being a Christian teenager is harder. We are walking through turbulent years, carrying pressing burdens, feelings, temptations, desires and fears. As teenagers, we wrestle with living through growing pains—as Christ-followers, with living out our faith.We need your help. More specifically, we need your prayer. We need prayer warriors. We need older generations to rise up and intercede for us. We need your loving, strategic, and persistent pleas.But perhaps you’re unsure exactly how to pray for the teens you know. That’s why, as a teen, I’ve compiled twelve specific ways to petition the God of the universe for the souls of teenagers.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Halfpoint

12 Ideas to Get Your Teen Talking

While there are no fool-proof ways to get your teen to talk to you, there are ways to make it easier for communication to happen. Here are a dozen ideas to get your teen to open up with you.

How to Help Your Teens Be Rooted in Christ

Students, as well as the rest of us, see the best parts of others' lives online. They see what the profile owner wants them to see, and our youth are already at a developmentally shaky place. If our children are not grounded, they will indeed wander aimlessly.

What Do I Do When My Teen Doesn't Want to Attend Church?

Be reminded that the unwavering prayer of a parent is powerful. You will witness the gradual transformation of your child's character in due time–because a steadfast prayer that is aligned with God’s will ultimately yields the desired outcome.

10 Things Your Teen Does (and Doesn’t!) Want from You

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJ) says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."Engaging with your teenager can often feel like one might approach a bear—very carefully, or not at all! But raising a teenager with their developing personalities, styles, and quirks can provide a uniquely positive time in the parent-child relationship if you don’t panic—and do your research.Even though every parent residing on the earth has been a teenager at one point in their life, it’s an ever-changing dynamic. The world your teen is growing up in is not necessarily the world you did. With each new generation comes a new set of challenges, social norms, and peer pressures, which affect how we parent, determining what our kids need from us. While each teenager is different and there’s no one-sized answer, I have found there are several do’s and don’ts when it comes to raising a teen that can spare everyone a lot of trouble (and bear spray!).Here are 10 things your teen does (and doesn’t!) want from you…Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Eliott Reyna

7 Dating Guidelines for Your Kids

You may be tempted to expressly forbid them from any form of interaction with members of the opposite sex before they are well into their twenties. But guess what? Doing that may cause them more harm than good.

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