Q&A: How Are We Supposed to Interact With Our Son’s Girlfriend?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 10/8/2015 | 0 comments

A reader asks, “How and when do you embrace the special girl in your adult son’s life? My son is 20 and this is his first “girlfriend”. They’ve been developing this relationship for 4 months and it seems serious. We have her over periodically but don’t know when to take that next step.” It’s a…
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October 7th, 2015

Q&A: My Ten Year Old Is Looking Up Sex Online! What Do I Do?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader writes, “I follow your page all the time. I first heard you guys speak at the homeschooling conference in North Carolina. I need HELP! I have 4 boys. I have already dealt with the introduction to porn with my first two, both were exposed to it at a Christian friend’s home. We have had protection on computers, we pay for [protection software]  for the older boys’ phones and computers.

We just got a new computer and set it up. It was supposed to have a parental filter on it. I had to go out of town and had just not gotten around to testing it. My 10-year-old looked up “YouTube sex” while I was gone. I am MAD – not at him, but at Satan and this whole mess that our boys have to deal with in spite of our zealousness, that one mistake can lead to exposure.

I don’t know how to protect them. I have read several of your articles dealing with this and thought we were protecting them pretty well. TWO questions, 1. what is the best parental control I can put on the computers? 2. What do I do now to deal with this exposure? I want to help my boys.”

Blog - Q - 10yo and Porn - Pinterest

Sadly, this is one of the most common questions we receive. The ages of the children seem to be getting lower and lower, too.

Let’s look at your second question first: What do you do now to deal with the exposure? Continue reading »

October 6th, 2015

Q&A: My 10-yo Threatened to Run Away!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader asks, “How do you deal with a child who threatens to run away from home, or if your child has done it, how did you deal with it?

I don’t know what my options are, but my 10 year old lately has been acting very immature, and when I told him to clean his room, or I would do it, it turned into this big power play. After he tried to assert himself as the boss of me, I let him know that that bedroom and everything in it was NOT his, but mine, so his response was “Well, I’ll go live somewhere else.”

I’m just not sure how to handle this. He’s not abused in any way, he’s too big for spankings, but he’s really unreasonable and stubborn when he doesn’t get his way and he likes to try and assert his power and is immature. I’m not looking for discipline advice, but for advice on how to handle this running away thing.”

RRM Running Away Vertical

This is such a challenging age! Even before you see any physical changes, the hormones which cause them are flowing and that means they are full of extreme emotions at a time that their brains are changing rapidly. The part of the brain that decides, “This is not a good idea,” the executive functions, are particularly challenged. Let me tell you how we handled that kind of thing.

First, pray for help to leave your own emotions at the foot of the cross. Kids this age can be maddening, but losing it yourself won’t help.

Then calmly say, “Let’s sit down and talk about this. Tell me what’s this all about?” and *let him talk.* Let him get it all out until he starts acting more or less rational again.

Then it’s time to give him a reality check. Explain, “I get that you are angry and you don’t think it’s fair, but threatening to run away is another thing entirely. That’s a dangerous line of thinking and I want to talk to you about that.”

RRM Run Away Horizontal

Then I’d give him a very frank lesson on what generally happens to run aways. Make sure no younger children are around to be frightened. We don’t live in Mayberry anymore. Tell him you love him so much that you want him to understand that would be a horrible decision.

Then, and only then, explain, “As you know, you’ve got to have some consequences for the way you’ve behaved…” and deal it out: extra chores, losing privileges, push-ups, whatever.

If he actually does something towards running away, you need to take it more seriously still. Any child who can’t be trusted needs constant supervision for a time for their own protection. Of course, following Mom and Dad around all day gets old pretty fast, but that’s not a bad thing.

Hal and Melanie Urban Street Cropped Yours in the battle,Hal and Melanie

A lot of the frustration of this age is what they are going through emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in the changes of the preteen years. It’s a critical time of parenting. So much so, we’re in the process of writing a book about it.

We also have a webinar series for parents focused entirely on this age range, called Boot Camp 9-12.

If you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll give you a 50% discount on Boot Camp 9-12!

October 5th, 2015

Q&A: How Do I Stop My Son from Stealing?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader asks, “I am having a problem with my 8 year old stealing things. He takes small things from people at school as well as things from his little brothers. A few weeks ago he took one of my diamond rings to school. I need some advice on what to do to help him see that this is wrong. Thank you!”

RRM How do I stop my son from stealing

Continue reading »

October 4th, 2015

Q&A: My Son Says He’s an Agnostic. Help?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Please pray. My son says he is an agnostic. I am so worried about him. He said he’d accepted Christ when he was six, but now this. What do I do?

This can be one of the most upsetting things a parent can deal with. I will never forget the day I was driving along with our children and our then nine-year-old suddenly said, “Mom, I think I’m an atheist.” I panicked. This was the child we prayed over since the day he was conceived. This was the child who claimed Christ when he was six and seemed so concerned about spiritual things. It was an awful moment. Really, it was awful few months.

RRM My son is an agnostic

It’s not at all unusual, though. Continue reading »

October 3rd, 2015

Q&A: What’s Wrong with My 17yo?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader asks, ” I have a seventeen year old boy . He has always been brilliant at school – loved school, loved life. Two years ago he began a downward spiral, he has bashed myself and his sister a number of times. He refuses to go to school. He wants to stay up all night and play on his phone. I’m a single mum… 5 ft and he is 5ft 8in and strong. My son has high functioning autism and is so accustomed to people excusing his outrageous behaviour he excuses himself. He is in danger of not matriculating because of not attending school and I at my wits end.”

Dear friend, that is so hard!

The thing that stands out to me when I read your question is that the change is probably the significant part here. You’ve got a good boy with good grades who is now depressed and refusing to go to school and is behaving badly towards his family. It looks like something is really wrong in his life.

RRM My 17yo has changed

I would look for signs of an addiction to porn or gaming. Depression and apathy are huge signs of these problems. Both porn and gaming cause a hormonal response in the brain that causes an addiction similar to alcohol or heroin. Kids begin to live for their next fix. It’s not as obvious as a drug or alcohol addiction, though, because you don’t see the spaciness or physical damage that comes with those things – they look clean. Continue reading »

October 2nd, 2015

Disaster Planning (Homeschool Edition)

by Hal | 0 comments

When disaster strikes, groups like the American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and Mennonite Disaster Service do a tremendous job getting people shelter, clothing, and safe food and water. But when the yellow buses start to roll, homeschoolers have a different problem–one we need to solve ourselves!

Disaster Planning - PIN

When Hurricane Floyd destroyed or damaged nearly 80,000 homes in eastern North Carolina, you bet homeschoolers were affected. Our state homeschool organization and a support group leader in the state capital were able to organize a program that replaced educational supplies and curriculum for hundreds of families in the flood zone. In the process, we learned some key pointers from their experience: Continue reading »

October 2nd, 2015

Q&A How & When Do You Share Disturbing News with Your Children?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

After the Oregon shooting this week, a reader asked, “How and when do you share news like this with your children? I haven’t shared much “news” with my children but I have older ones and I want to expose them to more. What sources do you use or do you just pass the news to them?”

When we read the news yesterday about a mass shooting at an Oregon community college, and especially when we saw that Christians had been targeted, we had the same thought: Is this something we need to discuss with our children? For us, we make these decisions on a case by case basis. Here are our considerations:

RRM Q&A Talking about the news with your kids

Continue reading »

October 1st, 2015

Q&A: My Son Is Being Picked On … What Do I Do?

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader asks, “I am looking for some advice to help my son deal with children who are unkind. He is 6 years old and in 1st Grade now. He is a very bright and kind child. He is having difficulty learning to stick up for himself. He tells me that he is not brave enough. I have coached him with things to say and encouraged him to avoid certain children that he feels affect him in a negative way.

My heart is breaking watching him sob.

Generally speaking there has been a little girl since preschool every year who has given him trouble. Not the same girl, but a different one each year. He is a very sensitive child and he is having a hard time dealing with people who hurt his feelings. I am considering having him speak to the guidance counselor to see if there are any skills they can share to help him feel safe when he needs to stand up for himself.

As he was crying and we were talking he actually pulled a piece of hair out of my head and ask to put it in a plastic bag and for me to kiss it. I think I have raised him to rely on me for his bravery. I really need assistance in figuring out ways to help him cope. Thank you.”

Poor kid! It’s hard when you don’t feel safe and happy where you are spending so much time. Some really nice kids seem to get picked on a lot and it’s a shame.

RRM Bullying


Continue reading »

September 29th, 2015

What A Man’s Gotta Do

by Hal | 0 comments

My wife, weak from the stomach flu, came out of the bathroom where she’d been hiding out—hiding by my request, I should say.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, shakily. “I feel like I shouldn’t have left you out there to do that.”

RRM Man's Gotta be a Father Gumby

Continue reading »

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