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 – www.HealingLives.com

Speaking & Retreats – www.drcoreygilbert.com

Awareness – Sexting & Your Teen!

I know that none of us want to think about the findings in this study.  We want to deny their existence.  Not in my home.  Not my teen.  If our teenager owns a smart phone, has access to a tablet or device (including an iPod touch) or are online at all – we must be aware.

The New Threat – Sexting.  Victimization is happening.  Honest and careful conversations are imperative.  Not blaming or shaming – rather dialogue filled with hope and care and empathy and understanding.

A reality – adolescents who are “cognitively very mature but who are making very bad decisions… psychosocial maturity hasn’t really started to pick up yet.”

Read this article here:

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/887377#vp_2

Dr. Gilbert

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Are you Interested in a free Course on Dating, Relationships, & Marriage?

I am working on a few projects (more details coming soon).  I wanted to find out if you might be someone interested in a FREE online intro course on

Dating, Relationships, & Marriage.

My goal is to help you and others build a SOLID Biblical Sexual Ethic as you make wise decisions, informed decisions – and help teach and lead others in doing so – those you serve, or even your own family.

Input your info below if you are interested:

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Please Distribute this Survey for Parents from Dr. Gilbert

Hi there mom or dad.  I want to ask you for some feedback.  Answer any of the following questions if you are willing so that I may better serve those like you that are in that stage of life of raising children/preteens/teens.  Thank you in advance for your input and vulnerability.  I am honored. Follow me at HealingLives.com – more resources will be available soon.

Click here for Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5KQPXBS

Thanks for your responses.  I am looking forward to working with your answers and addressing these topics very soon.

Respectfully,

Dr. Gilbert

Learn about my Presentation at the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) World Conference in this Article on Corban University’s Website

Article Links:

https://t.co/J0PQCbCsUN

https://www.corban.edu/news/2017/10/05/what-corban-professors-have-been-part-3-dr-corey-gilbert

What Corban professors have been up to: Part 3, Dr. Corey Gilbert

Thursday, 5 October 2017
Dr. Corey Gilbert, Associate Professor of Psychology at Corban University, might not have much in common with Salt-N-Pepa, the American hip-hop trio, but he would heartily agree with them on at least one point: “Let’s talk about sex.” Just last month, Dr. Gilbert presented at the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. His topic? “Sex and the Millennial: Transformative Conversations that Integrate Research and Theology.”

How did Dr. Gilbert come to present at the AACC conference?

Dr. Gilbert had attended the AACC World Conference for years—since he was a grad student in the 90s, in fact. But he hadn’t actually presented until now. “I had wanted to do this for years, but it is amazing the power of FEAR,” he writes in his blog. But this year he had finally submitted a handful of proposals related to the conference’s annual theme, “Break Every Chain.” Not only was his proposal on “Sex and the Millennial” accepted, but it received a great deal of interest leading up to the conference and was one of the few breakout sessions labeled full on the registration page. Indeed, Dr. Gilbert ended up speaking to a packed house of about 160.

Why “Sex and the Millennial?” What’s critical about this age group and conversations about sex?  

Dr. Gilbert has witnessed first-hand the attitudes Christian millennials have toward sex, both through his career as a Licensed Professional Counselor and as Associate Professor of Psychology at Corban University, where he teaches courses such as Human Sexuality, Trauma Therapy, Counseling Skills, Psychology of Addiction, and Abnormal Psychology. Although the topics he discusses with his students in these courses are often uncomfortable ones, Dr. Gilbert is adamant that being open about difficult topics, especially under the guidance of godly mentors, is crucial to young people’s development.

And indeed, “Millennials want and need to talk about sex,” Dr. Gilbert explains in a summary of his presentation. “How they think about sex impacts them spiritually, behaviorally, relationally, emotionally, and neurologically. The decisions they make during the critical young adult years (ages 18-28) impact them for decades.”

The problem lies in where millennials are receiving their information about this topic. Although each generation has struggled with harmful attitudes toward sex, millennials have access to portals of information that earlier generations did not, including the internet and social media. Too often, young people turn to sources of information that are inaccurate or even harmful (e.g. social media and friends), instead of biblically-grounded sources.

Where does “Research” enter the discussion? What kind of research did Dr. Gilbert conduct?

For more than a decade, Dr. Gilbert has been collecting data. Both in his Human Sexuality course at Corban and in an equivalent course he’s taught for another private Christian university, Dr. Gilbert has administered a survey to his students at the beginning of each semester. The survey asks students to honestly and anonymously answer questions about their attitude toward sex, where they’ve learned about sex, their comfort level talking to their parents about sex, and other related questions.

For years, the data had been piling up, unused. “Two years ago,” says Dr. Gilbert, “a colleague of mine pushed me to do something with it.” Dr. Gilbert asked one of his student assistants, Danielle Horne, to begin compiling the data from the surveys. Danielle began to analyze some of the data and ended up presenting her findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in April of 2016. Her presentation was titled “Safe Sex: A Study on the Influences on Sexual Decision-Making.” She concluded that a young person’s comfort-level talking with their parents about sex had an impact on whether or not they would make safe decisions. The higher the comfort level, the more likely they would turn to their parents to talk about sex, and the less risky their behavior would be. “It is the parent’s job to create an environment in the home where their children feel comfortable talking about sex,” Danielle concluded. The idea of parental responsibility became a key point in Dr. Gilbert’s presentation.

What about “Theology”? What role did Scripture play in this discussion? 

Dr. Gilbert’s discussion on parental involvement dovetailed with an analysis of Proverbs 6:20-23:

My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.

Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.

When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.

For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline is the way to life.

He pointed out that this passage, in the context of warning young people away from sexual immorality, underlines the importance of parents in a young person’s decisions about sex—similar to Danielle’s conclusions. He points out that parents’ counsel, commands, instruction, and discipline come together to protect their children from unhealthy decisions regarding sex.

So… What’s the takeaway?

Both research and Scripture point to the importance of wise adults speaking into young people’s lives. Ultimately, Dr. Gilbert points out that parents, church leaders, and other Christian adults can’t afford to be silent on the topic of sexuality. Rather, their role is to counsel, command, instruct, and discipline young people. Evidence shows that, when communicated effectively in a way that makes young people comfortable, a parent’s input and involvement has a significant impact on a young person’s behavior, and can become more influential than powerful voices such as social media and the internet. Speaking to pastoral and professional counselors, coaches, church leaders, and others working in the field of young adult and family mental health, Dr. Gilbert urged them, “Be a wise voice in this conversation; don’t be silent.”

Dr. Gilbert hosts a blog and online resource called “Healing Lives,” whose mission is “to provide church leaders, young adults, moms, and dads with practical tools, teaching, resources, and guidance on matters of a biblical sexual ethic for their churches, families, and lives.”

Please Distribute this Survey for Parents from Dr. Gilbert

Hi there mom or dad.  I want to ask you for some feedback.  Answer any of the following questions if you are willing so that I may better serve those like you that are in that stage of life of raising children/preteens/teens.  Thank you in advance for your input and vulnerability.  I am honored. Follow me at HealingLives.com – more resources will be available soon.

Click here for Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5KQPXBS

Thanks for your responses.  I am looking forward to working with your answers and addressing these topics very soon.

Respectfully,

Dr. Gilbert