Christian Teens Increasingly Fall Victim to Our Culture and Lack the Tools to Say "No."
Teen expert Mark Gregston talks about Christian teens in crisis and offers advice to parents in his new book, "When Your Teen is Struggling."
PR9.NET March 31, 2007 - Longview, Texas - Christian parents are often shocked to learn how far their teen has fallen into sex, drugs, risk-taking, and ultimately into self-destruction. Good kids in later teenage years, especially when they've been sheltered much of their earlier lives, are easily prone to be overwhelmed by our culture.
Mark Gregston, in his new book "When Your Teen Is Struggling," offers help for parents that despair for their troubled teen, as well as parents of preteens who understand that there may be difficult years looming ahead. He reveals shocking trends and offers insights into what Christian parents should do to turn the tide.
According to Gregston, "By far, the cultural pressures and consequences are worse for kids today. They are exposed to all types of lifestyles—to things I never even thought about seeing as a kid. In my own life, I have a benchmark of what is appropriate and moral, and an understanding of right and wrong. But in today's world, kids are exposed to so much that they try a little bit of everything. And as if satisfying their God-given need for individuality and independence, it can literally take over their lives.
"But we as parents often do exactly the opposite of what we should do when things go bad. Instead of maintaining the position of respectful, loving parental authority, we often try to become a peer -- a chummy friend -- to our teen. This leads to role confusion and more rebellion. Or, when curiosity gets the best of kids, we have a tendency to push them away, criticize them for their choices (haven't we all made a bad choice at some time in our lives?), and fail to really show them that the love of God is just as important when we're struggling as when we 'have it all together.'
"That's when distraught and fearful parents have no choice but to place their child in a intensive counseling program or a residential program like ours at Heartlight. We house and counsel 50 teens on campus at a time, lovingly bringing them back to reality a day at a time in a 9-12 month program," says Gregston.
It is through Gregston's daily work with teens at Heartlight that he has gleaned the practical insights found in the new book "When Your Teen Is Struggling," a Harvest House trade paper release. He says, "My prayer for this book is that parents would see God's hand amidst the darkness of crisis, and know that He has not ignored or turned His back on them. That they would hold true to what they know to be true, and learn more about how to enter into the life of their teen."
If your teen is acting up, see the "Ten Signs that Your Child May Need Help" chart at www.heartlightministries.org. Parents of teens with 5 or more of the 10 severe symptoms are encouraged to seek professional help.
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Mark Gregston is the founder and executive director of Heartlight Ministries, a residential counseling center for adolescents in crisis, and host of Heartlight Radio, a weekly national radio program. He also leads "Dealing With Today's Teens" seminars across the country and is currently producing an 8-week video seminar for small study groups titled "Boot Camp for Parents of Teens," to be released this year. In addition, he has written a number of helpful parenting booklets. To contact Mark Gregston, see his website at http://www.heartlightministries.org.
Heartlight Ministries P.O. Box 286, Hallsville, TX, 75650 Phone: 903.668.2173
About The Envoy Group
The Envoy Group is assisting in the promotional needs of Heartlight Ministries (http://www.heartlightministries.org)
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