IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 15 NOTES

We are so glad you are checking out our notes page for this EPISODE. If you are new to our podcast, we encourage you to go back and listen to EPISODE 1 – RAISING ABNORMAL KIDS and EPISODE 2 – The Best Youth Leaders….PARENTS where we unpack our heart and vision.

As we try to help and resource parents, we also want you to know that you are not alone, even in those really tough days. Here’s some of our thoughts on what to do when you have one of those days:

  1. KEEP YOUR COOL. Look for a way to take a breath, calm down, and not make a bigger mess than you already have on your hands.
  2. OWN YOUR PART. We always have to model as well as set the tone of humility by admitting any fault on our part first.
  3. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR PART. We must be willing to hold our children accountable for their actions and allow natural consequences.
  4. MOVE TOWARDS RESOLUTION AND RESTORATION. We must always remember the goal is to move towards a healthy place and better choices.
  5. LAUGH IF APPROPRIATE. Sometimes the best thing to do is to de-escalate.
  6. OFFER AND ENCOURAGE GRACE WHEN THEY ARE READY. While it may not be today, eventually we must help them get to a place of grace and forgiveness.

Join us next week as we talk about helping our children fall in love with the Bible! Until then, Be Abnormal!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 14 NOTES

In this EPISODE, we discuss the rising occurrence of anxiety and other mental health concerns in young people. This is the third in a series on mental development in young people. You can check out Episode 12 – They’re Literally Losing Their Minds and Episode 13 – Nobody’s Perfect if you’d like more info.

Clinical researchers all agree that depression and other mental health concerns have skyrocketed since 2012, which coincides with a major increase in smartphones. We’ve discussed some great ideas on how to approach and handle smartphones and devices in both Episode 1 – Raising Abnormal Kids and Episode 9 – Much Ado About Devices. But this also isn’t a new problem. It’s the issue of self-regulation.

Here’s some ideas we gave on what parents and adults can do to help foster a healthier approach to these issues:

  1. SPEND TIME WITH THEM. An intentional increase in in-person interactions will create a decrease in screen time. And as we do that, watch for clues of deeper issues if you are noticing anxious or depressive behaviors.
  2. HELP THEM GET PERSPECTIVE. Asking them good questions to show them that they are currently safe is a great practice. We also shared some Scripture that give good perspective on the fact that they aren’t alone. (1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:4-8)
  3. SEEK HELP. We also noted that if symptoms are severe or persistent, you may want to seek professional help. If you think there is an immediate danger you can reach out to the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or Burrell Mental Health’s Crisis Hotline at 1-800-494-7355. If you are in the Springfield, MO Area there are several Christian based counselors, such as My Counselor and Gateway Counseling Center.

We encourage you mostly to continue investing spiritually and emotionally with the young people in your life. Implement some depression decreasers and Scriptural truth and maybe just plan some fun, stress-free, face-to-face time together this week.

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 13 NOTES

This EPISODE deals with the first of two development pitfalls – Crippling Perfectionism. This is a follow up to Episode 12 – They’re Literally Losing They’re Minds.

We discussed how researchers and educators (and parents) are beginning to notice this phenomenon of young people becoming paralyzed from completing the necessary tasks of life. Many people are proposing this is fueled by increased cell phone use and decreased in-person interactions, resulting in us thinking everyone else’s life is perfect.

In response, we looked at the root issue of identity and talked about how Jesus and the Apostle Paul both addressed this tension. We looked at Matthew 5 and Romans 3 and determined that the only way to address the gap between our performance and the desired perfection was to come to our Creator to find forgiveness and restoration.

As parents trying to help our young people through this tension and move them towards that healthy, biblical response, we need to:

  1. Use this as a Teachable Moment. If you have a young person who is struggling in this area, begin the dialogue on identity and value, pointing them to the truths we looked at from the Bible.
  2. Be a Good Example. In order to help our young people face their shortcomings and move forward, we as the adults in their lives must show them an example of how we deal with our failures. That starts by being willing to say “I’m sorry.” It also includes us telling them our story and how we found our need for God’s forgiveness.
  3. Make a Culture of “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”. We need to make a safe place for our young people to address their failures and their feelings, and then help them to pursue the redemption cycle. We must model this often.

Next week we’ll revisit and build on these concepts as we tackle the next pitfall – anxiety. Until then, Be Abnormal

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 12 NOTES

Today’s EPISODE dealt with some of the science behind what is going on inside the brains of young people. We explored some of the key things we need to know and how to respond as parents and adults in their lives during this stage of development.

If you’d like to read some more about the brain studies we referenced, you can check out the one from the University of Pennsylvania here, the one by Dr. Jay Giedd here, and the one from John Hopkins University here. Some of the big take-aways from these studies are:

  1. Their brains are losing mass by about 1% a year following puberty.
  2. This is the “Use It or Lose It” time of development
  3. This process may not be fully complete (aka their brains aren’t fully developed) until they are 22-25!

Some advice for parents and adults as a result of this information is:

  1. Remember they are still developing
  2. Emphasis rest, nutrition and healthy habits during this time period
  3. Be present and involved as they need a lot of guidance and direction.
  4. Also remember they need a lot of grace and patience from you.

We really hope this information is encouraging as you navigate these critical developmental years. Remember they are literally losing their minds so Be Abnormal!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 11 NOTES

If you’ve ever struggled with getting your kids to give you more than a one syllable answer, then this EPISODE is for you! This is the third episode in a series on communication. if you missed EPISODE 9 – Much Ado About Devices or Episode 10 – Are You Withing? – we recommend you check them out as well.

In this episode we started out by talking about some KEY APPROACHES to asking good questions that create productive conversations:

  1. Prioritize Time For Talking. Find those spaces in your family’s routine where you can make it a point to talk to one another. That might be commutes, meal times, or late evenings. Use those moments to ask prompting and follow up questions to discover what’s on your young person’s mind and heart.
  2. Find Out What They Love and Do It With Them. Even if you don’t love it, too! This is a great way to show them your willingness to invest in them. It’s a great way to get them talking because people love to talk about what they love. And it creates captive time you are together. Some of our ideas were going to the movies, attending sports events, or just going out for ice cream.
  3. Watching Our Mouths. Words are powerful. We need to watch out saying things that put them on the defensive, like “When I was your age…” We do need to use language that shows interest and concern, like “Tell me more.” and “I’m sorry.”

We also covered some great question ideas to help discussions on some of the most important and concerning areas of young people’s development. (Word to the wise – don’t attempt to cover all of these at once):

  1. Friends
  2. Independence
  3. Family
  4. Struggles/Problem Solving
  5. Future
  6. Emotional Health
  7. Relationship with God

Lastly, we remind you that this won’t be comfortable the first several times you practice it. But pick a strategy and an idea and try it out. If you’d like updates on future content from us, sign up for our email list. And as always, Be Abnormal!