The Need for Boundaries
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Trace Embry

Trace Embry - Founder & Executive Director of Shepherd’s Hill Academy therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. Also the host of the “License To Parent with Trace Embry” radio program.

Posted 10/15/13 at 2:50 PM | Trace Embry

Overlooking the Obvious - Prayer

When you have an important job ahead of you, it helps to make a check-list, and I’m sure you’d agree that there are few jobs that are more important than parenting. You may even pray about the outcome of that important job, but is prayer the most important thing on your parenting toolkit check-list?

Parents will tap the ends of the universe to help make their kids happy and successful. They research the best schools, buy them the best cars their budget will allow, provide them fine homes, healthy meals and clothing that reflects the latest fashions. They even bring them to church and send them to camp, hoping to install all the attributes of a healthy human being. Yet despite our best intentions, we often fail to do what our kids need most, PRAY. How often have we forsaken infinite power and intelligence on behalf of our kids, for a new pair of Nikes. When we model and pray substance into our kids, the style will look that much better.

Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherd's Hill Academy, a Christian wilderness and therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited school for troubled teenagers. He is the Host of the License to Parent with Trace Embry radio program. He is also a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his parenting blog at Insight for Today’s Culture.

Posted 9/24/13 at 12:54 PM | Trace Embry

Parenting for the Benefit of Society

Goal setting for our kids is important, but what happens if we set the wrong goals? Let's take a look at the life goals we set for our kids. As we raise our kids, are we building good character into them for their benefit only, or should we have a greater societal goal in mind?

Teach Our Kids to Serve Others.

Many parents raise their children with the goals of good grades, good colleges, good careers, and good families. Of course, these are noble goals. However, shouldn’t we raise our kids with an even greater goal in mind? What if we brought up our children with not just their particular welfare in mind, but with the welfare of all of society.

Teaching our kids, from a young age, the joy of serving others will make them better candidates for career opportunities; better husbands and wives; better moms and dads; and better contributors to society at large–making the world for our grandkids a better place to live.

Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherd's Hill Academy, a Christian wilderness and therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited school for troubled teenagers. He is the Host of the License to Parent with Trace Embry radio program. He is also a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his parenting blog at Insight for Today’s Culture.

Posted 9/16/13 at 3:06 PM | Trace Embry

Shame Can be Healthy When We Violate God's Standards

Actions can be shameful. People made in God's image are not.

There is a common belief among the politically correct “intelligentsia” that shame is not something our kids--or anyone else for that matter--ought to experience. Even many Christians have bought into this idea. Scripture; however, seems to make a different case. God has made us, and our kids, with the capacity for many emotions--shame being just one of them. Confusion about this subject comes when someone attempts to force someone else to feel shame for something that God did not call shameful--like when a young child spills his milk or fails to control his bladder. Even then, there comes a time and age when even these acts become inappropriate--perhaps even shameful--particularly if done with reckless frequency and without legitimate excuse, i.e., such as a physical or mental condition. To remind an unrepentant child that he ought to be ashamed of himself for committing some blatant act of foolishness, abuse or other sinful activity can often be just good parenting. Or in the case of two adults, just being a good friend. FULL POST

Posted 8/21/13 at 12:45 PM | Trace Embry

Talent Doesn't Mean it's "God" Good

Bible Study
Read the Bible to Your Kids at an Early Age

In my years of working with troubled youth, I’ve heard countless teenagers praising the music of their favorite rock or rap stars for any number of reasons–regardless of how misogynistic the lyrics are, or how close the beats, rhythms, tones, and energy in the music, alone, mimic what occultists summon their evil spirits to.

Two common reasons kids give to justify their affinity for this stuff is:
1. How it makes them feel.
2. Their appreciation for the talent it takes to play it.

Parents, think to remind your kids that it also takes talent to pull off the perfect bank heist. That feels good and profitable too when it’s all over. But, is it a "God" kind of good? If all truth is God’s truth, then every lie is the Devil’s lie. Parents, don’t allow your kids to be duped by the enemy! Help mold their appetites, from a young age, for the goodness, truth, and holiness of God. FULL POST

Posted 8/13/13 at 1:39 PM | Trace Embry

Cutting the Need for Boundaries

What happens when you don’t go far enough in establishing boundaries for your kids?

There’s a phenomenon among teenagers today known as cutting, and I talk about this a lot. Kids claim cutting themselves relieves their pain, but what pain? It’s the pain that comes from the insecurity of life without boundaries, and no one to enforce them. So many kids today are regularly engaged in sinful activities for which they were never designed to be exposed to, much less engaged in, and all without appropriate consequences from proper authorities.

Parents, schools, government, and the church no longer feel they have the legal or moral authority to restrict and restrain an out of control teen, so the teen punishes himself.

By cutting themselves, what kids are actually attempting to do without being cognitively aware of it, is to atone for their own sin. The very thing Christ has already done for them.

Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherd's Hill Academy, a Christian wilderness and therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited school for troubled teenagers. He is the Host of the License to Parent with Trace Embry radio program. He is also a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his parenting blog at Insight for Today’s Culture.

Posted 8/9/13 at 6:21 PM | Trace Embry

Teachable Moments with Our Kids

When it comes to teachable moments with our kids, the biblical mandate of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 comes to mind. It says, “These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

parenting
Teachable Moments Walking Down the Road

But, do you see a problem here? In today’s digital age of multitasking during our every waking moment, how often do we parents take the time to simply sit at home with our kids? Or just walk along the road? When do we talk with our kids while lying down or waking up? Perhaps both parents, and kids alike, would benefit by taking more time simply sitting at home; walking along the road; or just lying down--all while impressing God’s Word upon our children from the teachable moments of an average day.

Trace Embry is the Founder and Director of Shepherd's Hill Academy, a Christian wilderness and therapeutic residential program, as well as a private accredited school for troubled teenagers. He is the Host of the License to Parent with Trace Embry radio program. He is also a public speaker, and teaches parenting classes. Visit his blog at Insight for Today’s Culture .