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January 2015
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Parents of Teenagers Practice Two Kinds of Love

January 17, 2015   

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

 Parents of Teenagers Practice Love – Two Ways

If you know me at all (even if only through this blog), you know that I’m excited about the possibilities of what a Parent-Teen relationship can become. I suspect this will always be true of me … because I know how amazing those relationships can be after they transform. Ultimately, what jump-starts the transformation is Love. BUT when things turn sour and fall apart … it’s always when Parents of Teenagers Practice Love Two Ways!

Love is one of the strongest emotions in the world – perhaps the strongest. Love is unmistakable, immutable and irrefutable. This Love is “Unconditional!” You can always spot Unconditional Love. It’s a “Steel Magnolia!” It nurtures, protects and inspires simultaneously! It hangs tough over the long haul and does whatever it takesFor as long as it takes!  Unconditional Love does NOT know how to fail.

The Counterfeit Voice of Love

Everything sacred in the universe has a polar opposite. The same is true of Love. “Conditional Love” is the evil antithesis of Love. Conditional Love talks at your teenager, using abusive dysfunctional language. These Sticks & Stones break the emotional bones of your son or daughter, causing psychic damage that could take decades to heal. Conditional Love sounds something like this, even if the message is non-Verbal.

“I’ll love you … if you do what I say.

I’ll love you … if you walk, talk and think as I say.

I’ll love you … when you become what I say you should be.”

There’s nothing remotely subtle about any of these comments!

Parents of Teenagers Practice Two Kinds of Love

Consider for a moment how teenagers feel when such words and actions are directed at them. No one deserves to be loved Conditionally. Yet many teenagers know that what their parents call Love would suck the life right out of them.  Sadly, some parents of teenagers who practice Conditional Love are simply unaware of the long-term negative impact such parenting has on a teenager.

Conditional Love is as cruel and cowardly as a sucker punch to the gut. Many teenagers feel physical pain when they first realize their parents love them Conditionally. The abusive nature of Conditional Love is revealed in emotional scar tissue and other psychic damage that may never completely heal.

Unconditional Love Speaks to the Heart of Your Teenager

When you effectively deliver the message of Unconditional Love to your teenager, he or she will be “reassured” of your Love, concern and support … far beyond anything else you can say or do. This doesn’t happen when Parents of Teenagers Practice Two Kinds of Love!  Unconditional Love holds “reassurance” steady … even if your teenager forfeits your Approval from time to time. Unconditional Love sounds something like this:

“My Love is irresistible … so stop trying to fight it!”

“You can’t snuff out my love … or make it weak or small.”

“When you think you don’t deserve my love … It will still be here for you.”

These are the messages, Verbal and Nonverbal, that parents use to help their sons and daughters hear and understand their messages of Love. Teens often have difficulty hearing these messages. The reasons are as many as the insecurities and anxieties that make the teen years so difficult … even with patient and understanding parents.

The message of Unconditional Love is essential to keeping the lines of Communication open in Parent-Teen relationships. It’s hard to ignore reassurances of Unconditional Love – even when a teenager is being held Accountable for his or her behavior.

What Kind of Love Do Teenagers Need?

The answer is obvious: Teenagers need Unconditional Love from their parents.   They deserve no less – no matter how ridiculously they behave. Let’s face it, our teenagers can stomp all over our last nerve and still play the Victim!

When this happens, they need even more Unconditional Love, patience and understanding … as well as clearly defined boundaries so that they are clear on what they will be held Accountable for.

This is where it gets tough! When you hold your teenager Accountable for his or her behavior, you must be careful to continue to demonstrate your love in ways that your son or daughter can hear, understand and receive.

Whenever your teenager must be disciplined or held Accountable for something he or she did or failed to do, your teen should know that for the moment you are withholding your Approval … but NOT your Love.

There is a great difference between withdrawing Approval and withholding Love. When that message is delivered correctly, your teenager will understand the difference and not feel unloved or emotionally abandoned by you.

Let’s Take ACTION!

•   Learn your son or daughter’s Love Language!

•   When expressing Love to your teenager, use his or her Love Language!

•   Be Consistent and Fair-minded when your teen’s behavior warrants discipline!

•   Practice Unconditional Love … until it becomes “Second Nature” to you!

Here’s my official DARE:

I “D-Double Dare you” to leave me a message below!

Until next time … Hang In There!

Your Teenager is Worthy of all your Love and EXTRA Effort!


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NOTE:  As you know, “Mom and Dad Don’t Love Me!”  is available in the Amazon Kindle Store.  This eBook drives home the point that parents have greater Influence in the lives of their teenagers when their teens feel they are loved.  It is the 1st in the 3-eBook Series titled The Naked Truth About Parent-Teen Relationships.  CLICK HERE. I would love it if you’d leave a short Review of the eBook.  To do that CLICK HERE.

“Mom and Dad Don’t Have a Clue!” is also available in the Kindle Store.  This eBook “Unravels the Riddle about What Makes Your Teenager Tick, Talk and Transform!”  It is the 2nd eBook in the 3-eBook Series.  CLICK HERE.  I’d love it if you’d leave a short Review.  To do that CLICK HERE


“Mom and Dad Don’t Know I Get High!” is the 3rd and final eBook in the Series.  It will be full of current research-driven facts about “how the teen brain works” and how brain development is responsible for much of the sometimes peculiar behaviors of all our teens. 

Some of what you’ll find in the eBook is new information revealed in Science and Medicine so you may not be aware of all of it.  I’ll make a general statement here.  The information will be unsettling for some so don’t feel bad if … “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”   🙂 🙂

Join the Email List to get notified about the exact publishing dates or check out the “Product List” on the Menu bar at the top of this page.  Fill out the Email Signup form in the right-hand column … and You’re In!  



Sleep Deprivation in Teenagers

January 14, 2015   

 “The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

“Sleep Deprivation in Teenagers!”

Every living thing on Planet Earth needs (and has) a way to sustain itself.  Human beings are no different.  We need clean air, clean water and food for health and well-being.  We also need Sleep.

Surprise!  Surprise! 

Few people think of Sleep as life sustainingbut it is!  If you are the parent … adoptive, step or foster, or the guardian of a teenager, you may be frustrated by the sleep habits of your son or daughter.  If you are part of The Network of Solidarity – a grandparent, select family member, teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, social worker or anyone else who regularly interacts with teenagers – you may be baffled by the signs of Sleep Deprivation that plague the teenagers in your life.  And you should be. read more …


Reconnect with Your Teenager

January 2, 2015   

  “The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

“Reconnect with Your Teenager!”

What is the most hurtful thing your teenager has ever said to you? I believe most parents have the same answer.  It’s when our teenage son or daughter says:  “You don’t love me!”

The first time we hear those words, they feel like tiny daggers plunging into our heart.  Many parents learn, however, that those words are usually intended to manipulate us … more than anything else.  But there are other times when those words gush out of a wounded spirit that has been left unattended … or a tender heart expressing what it truly feels.

It does not matter if what your teenager is feeling is justified or not. A teenager’s heart only knows what it feels in the moment the feeling comes. Is there a better reason for parents to be more deeply engaged in the lives of their teen-children?  I think not. read more …


Parenting Teenagers: A Reality Check!

January 1, 2015   

“The Parental Grapevine!”

A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices

  Malbec Grapes

Parenting Teenagers: “A Reality Check!”


Let’s just jump right in …  We parents have the unique experience of being our children’s first teacher, counselor, mentor and coach.  We were first to put “words” in their mouths.  We were first to teach them important lessons about kindness, sharing and getting along with others.  In most cases, we were first to teach them about trust – to trust us and our God.

By doing all this “early work,” we hoped our children’s teen years would be less turbulent.  We hoped all our deliberate and skillful parenting would manifest in the “better choices” our teen-children would make as they became young adults.  The lessons we taught our teens were the bedrock of our faith and values – the living legacy we hoped they would embrace.  We hoped our legacy would shape their humanity and enable them to “walk in the world” with a greater capacity to be kindness, trust and generosity. read more …