Parents – Your Children Need your Preemptive Guidance

Parents.  You may have heard of a movie in theaters title “Show Dogs” (2018).  This is about that and not about that.  My worry and concern is that many movies like this have subtle hints and lessons that – if not caught – teach our children things that can put them in harms way.  So this is a reminder to us parents to be vigilant.

Movies like “Deadpool 1 & 2” are reaching for our children and have trailers that draw them in – VERY successfully – and we must be the bad guys and say “NO!”  Movies like the first one mentioned are PG and easily fly under the radar and thus we have on conversations with our children about what they contain.

I am not advocating boycotting everything or banning anything. I do not see this as effective and early see it work at all.  It is about the short conversations about pieces of movies and shows and conversations our children hear that will empower them to stand up for themselves and NOT become a victim.  May we lead with confidence. May we prepare our children to spot things that are not just way off, but that are even subtly off.  May we teach them an ETHOS that they can become invested and grounded in – and is theirs.  Their ETHOS matters.  And this begins with ours as parents.

For more information and resources – check out my free facebook group we I am adding content and building community for parents that want to do this well –

Dr G.

Corey Gilbert, PhD, LPC
Founder & CEO of HealingLives, LLC
Executive & Family Life Coaching, Counseling, Speaking, & Membership Site Owner

5 Things Parents of PREteens MUST Do

Are you a parents of a preteen and wondering what the next stages in life are going to look like?  Let me give you a hint – way too much of it depends on you – as the parent.  

Here are some steps to make the teen years an amazing time of growth and adventure and maturity – and not the typical chaos so many experience:

  1. Date your son or daughter
    Go to the movies, on a walk, out to dinner, a hike, picnic, paint balling, golfing, a bike ride, etc.  
  2. Change your discipline techniques (they are older now and need more age appropriate consequences)
    They are not 7 anymore.  Adapt your approach, which often means more intentionally severe consequences – it must hurt sometimes (not physically) for them to learn.  Remember you are leading them towards adulthood.
  3. Go on a retreat with your preteen and complete the Passport to Purity with them
    This is a 3 day 2 night outing with steps to follow, audio to listen to – and the audio by Dennis and Barbara Rainey does the teaching, and activities to complete and adventures to be had.  My eldest son and I went to the coast and went golfing and stayed in an RV.  My middle son and I went to a place up in the mountains that had zip lines and a climbing wall and tomahawk throwing and we stayed in a tent.  These are great memory makers as well.  
  4. Give them freedoms that allow them to test the world (within reason)
    Let them take risks.  We have watched our preteen son take the bus around town.  My wife at times has followed the bus to watch from afar.  Eventually you let go and must trust them.  These small victories are life changing for a growing maturing young man or woman. 
  5. NO allowances – Commissions – teach them the value of work and pay (and tithing and saving)
    As Dave Ramsey says – let them earn it.  They must learn that you are not their money tree.  A valuable statement I learned years ago was to NOT say “we can’t afford it” – rather to say “We choose to NOT spend our money that way.” – this is freeing.  
  6. Go on adventures with them (as a family or just you and your preteen)
    Get outside.  Go as a family.  Camping!  We love to go snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, to the coast, bike riding as a family, kayaking, or float down a river in inner-tubes, and out favorite – cross country road trips tent camping across the US.   

I hope these ideas are helpful.  Also – do some of these things with other families that have kids the same age.  

Be proactive and intentional as you lead this young man or woman into and through adolescence and into adulthood.  I hope even the hardest times of this stage of life are better because of your implementing the above strategies.  Lead well. Lead intentionally. 

Dr. Gilbert


Parents of Young Kids – Your Must Have Book List

Parents.  It is time to be proactive.  I find that most parents worry about introducing conversations with their kids too early.  I find the opposite problem to be the biggest predictor of future failure (as parents and in our kids actions as they mature).  

Be intentional.  Start the conversations when they are 1, 2, and even 3 years old.  How?  Make these age appropriate.  Here below is the list of books we have had on our kids book shelves since they were born.  These books would pop up every once and awhile and enter normal family conversations, then disappear into the mix.  Allow this to happen.  Lean into these harder conversations.  Even make them happen at times as events in life unfold (more on this coming).  Be ready for harder one’s as they enter the preteen years.  I will post more about what to do then in an upcoming video blog and training.  Stay tuned!  

So here is a great starter list for your kids bookshelves – FYI – click on these links to buy and this actually help HealingLives, LLC.  Let’s get these amazing resources into the hands of our children. 


And here is the Full set:

I hope these provide a starting point.  Email me or message me if you have specific questions. I am here to serve, as you serve your family with excellence in a difficult area most are afraid of entering.  We can do this.  Let’s also not do it alone.  Lead well!

Dr. Gilbert

Must-Have Resource for Parents of Young Kids

Check out this amazing book we have personally found very helpful with our kids over the years.   Leave it on their shelf and let the conversations come out of no where – or intentionally sit them down and go over it a few times a year.  Start at any age!  

Click on the link below to help support HealingLives, LLC with your purchase.  



Be Aware of What you are Giving Your Children for Christmas!

It is almost Christmas.  Families are excited.  A fast, but different pace ensues.  Children are crazy excited. I have a word of caution for us parents.  I have seen too much as a therapist and parent and with friends families.  One of the top gifts given this season to younger and younger children are electronic devices like iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches and the like.  Be Aware!  I personally call these “Porn Portals.”  Not to be funny – rather to enlighten and slightly alarm.  They are two to three clicks away from that stuff at any given moment – and we cannot watch them at all times.  FYI:

  • Most children have seen pornography – let’s not make it easier for them.
  • Most children and teens today spend hours on YouTube – and this is not an innocent space.
  • Snapchat and Instagram are not harmless and contain questionable material they can easily find.
  • Cyberbullying is getting worse with this instant access – leading to suicides.
  • Did you know that Universities are checking applicants social media accounts before admission – what are they posting?

This reminder is meant to alarm – not for us to overreact – rather for us to set limits, remain the parents, and teach our children and teenagers responsibility.

Our children will almost certainly want these devices.  We choose when – use wisdom.

They will almost never come to YOU with questions – so it is OUR responsibility to engage them in difficult and even uncomfortable short (very short) conversations.  We must initiate these.  DO NOT expect them to (if they do you are blessed!  Most do not).

Have a Merry Christmas.  Lead your families with Confidence.

Dr. Gilbert

Coaching & Counseling –

Speaking & Retreats –

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree 

Tonight I went out with my eldest son Alex (age 11) for dinner, to go over a study together, and then a movie. We ended up eating at Chipotle since other places had long lines (we both didn’t like waiting). We enjoyed going over our study questions over our meal. We then headed to the movie theater and when Alex heard it was 97% full he said he wanted to go another time when it was less crowded (just like me, LOL).  So we spent the rest of the evening at REI, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods. I enjoy shopping (Kelly does not). Alex and I had a great evening. We were bonding, laughing, had a great time together, and with no screens. WE LOVED IT. Kelly and I do the same thing when we go out – we intend to go to dinner and a movie and we rarely if ever make it to the movie since we really rather spend time talking.

  • What are some of your quirks and hang-ups that you are transmitting (modeling) to your kids?
  • Are these seen as humorous and a good thing – or do they need some rethinking?

Enjoy your time with your sons and daughters as often as you possibly can – our time with them is precious.

Corey Gilbert

HealingLives, LLC