License to Parent

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Posted 12/21/13 at 2:14 PM | Trace Embry

4 Ways to Help Your Teen Defend the Christian Faith

Teens are bombarded by postmodern thought on a daily basis. Most recently, today’s culture has become fixated on religious “coexistence.”

Other religions, besides Christianity, can seem more appealing at times to your teenager.

biblical worldview

So, how do you prepare your child to stand firm in the Christian faith? To start, it is imperative that every Christian home provide biblical answers to life’s toughest questions.

At home, if you provide your teen with consistent answers to the following questions, then he will have a better chance at remaining confident in his faith.

1) What is the origin of life?

Scientists challenge the concepts of creation on a regular basis. In addition, your teen will face teachers that present him with theories that directly oppose Christianity. Your teen must know how to defend the biblical answers for the origin of life found in Genesis.

2) What is life’s meaning?

Your child has a purpose. Helping him realize that purpose requires you to challenge him to cultivate his strengths and address his weaknesses. Teach him to dream big; then teach him the character and discipline it takes to achieve his dreams. FULL POST

Posted 12/19/13 at 10:46 AM | Trace Embry

How You Can Develop an Authentic Relationship with Your Teen

Many parents ask: "How am I suppose to place boundaries on my child’s life, without compromising my relationship with them?"

My response to that is; it is possible. In fact, we train our team at Shepherd’s Hill Academy how to properly develop relationships with teens by following "The Seven Pillars of an Authentic Relationship" team workshop.

Boundaries: Relationship begins with setting clear boundaries. Identify rules such as: what time do you want your child home in the evening; what media do you want them engaging in; what kind of friends do you want them hanging out with. Work with your spouse to develop a set of household guidelines.

Discipline: Boundaries become useless unless you enforcee them with appropriate discipline. Again, work with your spouse to develop common consequences for unmet boundaries. For example: If your teen misses curfew, she must give up her keys. If your son is caught with inappropriate music, he must give up his iPod.

Respect: Respect is a big factor in developing a relationship. By being consistent with your boundaries, by enforcing them through discipline, your child will begin to respect you as the authority figure in his life. When your child respects you as his authority figure it is much easier for you to relinquish the control.

Control: When your child knows that you mean what you say, it instills a healthy fear in him. This earns you control. Healthy control is another important aspect of relationship. If your teen feels there is no control, he will act out and often do unhealthy things to compensate; such as: unhealthy media habits, drugs, sex, gangs, etc.


Posted 12/12/13 at 10:47 AM | Trace Embry

How to Create a Secure Home for Your Teen

From my years of ministering to teens using the authoritative community model, I have learned they actually want safety and security.

Your home is no different, and an authoritative community is vital for creating a secure environment. By ensuring that your home is a secure environment, you are more likely to see your teen flourish.

By creating an authoritative community you are providing your teen with an environment where everyone of authority in your teen's life point them to a common moral standard. Whether it be the child’s boss, track coach, neighbor, or another parent, they remain consistent on the things that matter.

Trace Embry

Essentially it is a system of accountability for your child.

When I was younger, the American culture, as a whole, was an authoritative community. As a whole America’s authority figures were unified in raising kids–including disciplinary measures.

So how do you develop an authoritative community environment with so many negative influences in today’s culture?

Overcoming the negative cultural influences can be difficult. A starting point will be to ensure you are intentional in developing media boundaries in your home. FULL POST

Posted 11/26/13 at 4:36 PM | Trace Embry

How to Develop a Family Vision Statement

QUESTION: What could your family have in common with some of today’s most successful leaders?

ANSWER: A Vision Statement.

Many families spend more time planning their next holiday event than they do creating a vision for their family.

I want to challenge families to identify, communicate, and live out a vision statement for their family.

Take athletes for example: Most athletes have a distinct vision; to win. A vision statement can help your family stay focused on the things you find important.

So how does a family create a vision statement?

First, identify what your family wants to achieve. You can begin this process by grabbing some markers and note cards and letting your children write their life’s dream on them. One “dream” per card.

Make it fun and encourage them to dream big!

Once you have compiled all the cards, work through them and decide as a family what your top 3-5 dreams are.

Next, communicate the identified 3-5 dreams by recording them and posting them in a prominent location, such as the refrigerator.

Then, tell your kids to pray for the list and schedule a follow-up family fun date. FULL POST

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