Play It Subtle When Talking With Teens

By Shaunti Feldhahn on September 8, 2015

Dear Shaunti,

I was driving my 16-year-old daughter home from volleyball practice recently when she brought up a funny comment made by one of the guys she knows at school. Then she said, “Anna said he told her he was going to ask me to Homecoming.” I was thrilled she was sharing something like that, since she’s been pretty tight-lipped the last year. And also thrilled for her, since she’s never been asked to a school dance before, and I know it would mean a lot to her. So I smiled at her and said “Wow, that is fantastic, honey!” I promise that’s all I said. But you would have thought I had shot off fireworks or something, because my daughter got this horrified look on her face and said, “I knew you’d freak out if I told you. That’s why I don’t tell you anything!” But I did not overreact, and I’m a little irritated that she says this is why she can’t talk to me. What do I do?

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How do I deflate my teenage son’s oversized ego and curb the cockiness?

By Shaunti Feldhahn on June 15, 2015

Dear Shaunti,

I’m a single mom to two teenage boys, and because their dad was an arrogant man I’m highly sensitive to teenage cockiness. I really want to teach the boys humility. My 17 year old is fine, but my 15 year old is convinced he’s God’s gift to his school, every girl he meets, and the entire sport of soccer. It is driving me crazy. And the worst of it is: he actually is a great student, a charismatic boy, and an unusually gifted goalie. He works hard, but I feel like I can’t say “good job” because it will just go to his head. And he’s got such an inflated view of himself already. I feel like I need to let some of the air out of his ego by reminding him that he’s part of a team who are all doing well, or that his buddy got just as good grades as he did, or that the girl he liked was turned off by his bravado. But it hasn’t helped so far. What can I do to bring him down to earth?

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When State Says Pot is OK, How Do I Convince My Child It Isn’t?

By Shaunti Feldhahn on April 27, 2015

Dear Shaunti,

We live in Colorado, where pot is now visible on every corner. For my teenagers, seeing someone smoking pot is as now as commonplace as seeing someone smoking cigarettes; it’s viewed as a harmless pastime. But it isn’t harmless, and I don’t want my kids to be enticed by drugs. My husband and I have even considered moving to another state. How am I supposed to keep my kids from becoming pot-heads when they are surrounded by them?

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How can I get my teen to STOP relying on social media so much?

By Shaunti Feldhahn on April 13, 2015

Dear Shaunti,

My kids’ obsession with Instagram and other social media has gotten to ridiculous levels. My teenage daughter takes photos of her outfits before she goes to school and wears the option that got the most likes. She’s already placing far too much value on what her peers think of her, and social media is making it worse. I’m ready to throw her phone in the trash. How can I get her to stop relying on social media so much – especially for her self-identity?

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Gain More Pull With Your Kids By Pushing Less

By Shaunti Feldhahn on March 9, 2015

Dear Shaunti, My 13-year-old daughter rocks at math and science.  She is at the top of her 8th grade class, and is one of the only girls in a robotics elective.   My husband and I have always told her she’ll…

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Drama-Free Guarantee: Talking to Teenage Boys

By Shaunti Feldhahn on January 26, 2015

Dear Shaunti, My oldest son is having a tough first year of high school – leaving his old friends, trying to make new ones, and dealing with some unfair teachers. I’m thankful that at least he’s talking to us about…

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Conquer the Calendar Without Crushing Your Kids

By Shaunti Feldhahn on January 5, 2015

Dear Shaunti, My 8th grade son is getting involved in extra-curricular activities for the first time, finding out what he likes and making friends in a way he hasn’t before. Which is all great, but every new dodgeball clinic, basketball…

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And the Oscar Goes To…My Teen Drama Queen

By Shaunti Feldhahn on August 7, 2014

Dear Shaunti, I love my teenage daughter but how do I get her to stop being such a drama queen? Everything is a big tear-fest. She begged to play volleyball – but now when she doesn’t want to go to…

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Prince Charming Wasn’t a Quarterback: Giving Your Son Confidence (Even though He’s Not Mr. Popular)

By Shaunti Feldhahn on June 2, 2014

Dear Shaunti, My 17 year-old son has a great sense of humor, and is fun to be around, but he doesn’t have a lot of confidence with girls because he’s self-conscious about his looks. (Of course, I think he’s adorable…

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Your Teen Is Watching Even If She Doesn’t Seem to Be Listening

By Shaunti Feldhahn on May 12, 2014

Dear Shaunti, My daughter is 15 years old and I am worried that she is starting to push away not just from her dad and me but also from some of the beliefs we hold dear. What should we do?…

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