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Teens have more pressure on them today than ever before, and when that pressure is coupled with internal pain, betrayal or strained parental relationships, they often turn to substances to cope. In this episode, Mark Gregston speaks with a couple of Heartlight teens, including one young man who is learning to have an open, loving relationship with his parents again after self-medicating with drugs for years. Don't miss these stories of hope!    For more insight on why teens turn to drugs and alcohol, read Mark's article, "The Hidden Culprit of Teen Troubles," at
So many parents have good intentions and start freely giving money and material things to their children at a very young age. Unfortunately, this can create a monster: an entitled teen. Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to discuss some tips you can use if you find yourself with a demanding, entitled teen. Listen in now for ideas on how to teach your teen the value of hard work and responsibility!    Looking for more tips on how to create healthy expectations for your child? Check out Mark's e-book, "Developing Rules & Consequences" at
All of us want to feel like we have significance in life — and for teens, the search for their purpose can take them in a lot of different directions. In this episode, Mark answers some more questions from parents and caretakers, including one mom whose daughter's rebellion seems to be getting out of hand. Mark shares how important it is to walk alongside and communicate with your teens as they search for their identities. Listen in for the rest of these great questions!   Have your own pressing parenting question for Mark? Ask it here:   For more on how to support your teens in today's challenging world, read Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture." Learn more at
The easy accessibility of pornography in today's culture is something that has a widespread impact on both teen guys and girls, so how can parents be prepared to confront this topic? Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd discuss how shaming or guilting a child who is struggling with porn is not the correct approach, and share some tips for parents on how to have this tough talk with their kids. Tune in to hear their insights!   For more advice on how to safeguard your teen's internet habits, check out Mark's article, "Parenting the Internet," at
As practically every parent of a teen knows, when your child doesn't get what they want, it can lead to angry outbursts. And if you lose your temper too, it creates the perfect storm. In this devotional, Mark Gregston explains the top three reasons that teens get angry, and how to approach the situation with a calm spirit, a listening ear and gentle words. Listen in now!   If you want to learn more about how to effectively communicate with your teen, check out Mark's book, "Tough Guys and Drama Queens." Order your copy here:
We live in a digital age, and many teenagers today feel like they would really struggle if they didn't have their phones. In this episode, Mark Gregston speaks with some insightful Heartlight teens about their experiences at the boarding school, including what it has been like living without a cellphone. The surprising verdict? They DON'T miss social media! Tune in now to hear their stories!   To learn more about the Heartlight program and how it helps struggling teens, visit
If you, as a parent, look at failure as something to be ashamed of, chances are your teens will too — but inevitably, they WILL take risks and make mistakes. So how should you handle it? Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to talk about how parents need to prepare for when their teens will make mistakes and use those situations as opportunities to grow closer instead of just being critical. Don't miss this important discussion!   For more insight on what to do when your teen slips up, read Mark's article, "Confronting Your Teen's Mistakes," at
As a parent, what should you do with a teenager who just wants to stay in her room all the time? Or what about when your child really wants to go to a different school than the one you had planned for him? In today's episode, Mark Gregston answers these questions and more submitted by parents just like you. Don't miss these insights!   Do YOU have a pressing parenting question you want to ask Mark? Submit it here:   If you have a teen who is spiraling out of control and you need some more help and encouragement, check out Heartlight Ministries' Families in Crisis online course at
Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to have a special discussion on the challenges parents experience when their adopted children become teenagers. Adopted kids often struggle with their sense of identity during their teen years, but if God called you to adopt, you must remain faithful to that calling even when the road gets rocky. As a bonus, Wayne shares his own adoption story! Tune in now!    For more on this tough topic, check out Mark's free e-book, "Parenting an Adopted Teen," at
In today's digital world, we are under a constant bombardment of information — this is especially true for teens. In this week's devotional, Mark shares that when your child enters their teenage years, it's time for you as a parent to shift from teaching mode to TRAINING mode. Our kids don't need another source of info, they need real wisdom. Don't miss this great devotional!    For more wisdom on how to shift your parenting style, check out Mark's book, "Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture," at
Mark Gregston chats with two Heartlight teens who share their stories of turning to drugs and alcohol to mask pain they felt in their hearts. Both young ladies agreed that if they felt their parents would truly listen to them — without judgement — their stories might have turned out differently. Listen to these amazing tales of transformation now!    For more insight on WHY teens turn to drug use, read Mark's article, "Experimenting With Drugs," at
Does your teen act like a totally different person on social media than they do at home? This behavior is all too common. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss how the pressures of today's culture on the internet often push teens to portray themselves as someone they're not — or worse, put themselves in real-life danger.    Mark's book, "What's Happening to My Teen?" offers more help for parents who are watching their teen transform into a different person. Check it out here:
Mark Gregston sits down to answer some questions from parents about the often challenging reality of raising teenagers in today's culture. This week, Mark tackles what a homeschooling mom should do when her son is acting out, how a Christian family should approach their teen when she declares she is an atheist, and much more! Don't miss this episode!   Do YOU have a parenting question for Mark? Submit it here:
Mark Gregston and Wayne Shepherd sit down to talk about different ways to handle and be engaged in your teen's online life. In order to parent well in today's culture and keep up with your teens, you need to commit to becoming a lifelong learner when it comes to technology. Letting your teen teach you their favorite video game or app can be an opportunity to connect. Listen in now!   For more of Mark's insights on how to approach your teen's online activities, visit
In this special devotional, Mark Gregston shares advice for parents who are engaged in one of the most common struggles you can have with your teen: the battle for control. Teens want nothing more than to take control of their own lives, and while they WILL make mistakes, it's up to you as a parent to begin trusting them to apply all the good lessons you've instilled. Don't miss this episode!   For more insight on this issue, read Mark's article, "Turning Over Control to Your Teen" at
The Hunt for Identity

The Hunt for Identity


When you're a teenager, figuring out who you are and shaping your identity can be a huge challenge and can often lead down some dark paths. Mark Gregston chats with two Heartlight teens whose quests to find out how they fit into this crazy world led them to rock bottom — but thanks to the counseling staff at Heartlight, they now have a brighter outlook on their futures. Listen to these young ladies' powerful stories now!   If these stories sound familiar to you, check out Mark's e-Book, "When Your Teen is Struggling," at
As a parent, you always hope your teen will never turn to drugs or underage drinking — but the reality is the majority of high schoolers have tried alcohol and 50 percent have reported using marijuana, according to the CDC. Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to talk about things parents need to keep an eye out for that might indicate your teen has begun seeking relief from life's stresses through substances. Don't miss this heavy-hitting discussion!   For more help on this topic, check out Parenting Today's Teens' resources on drug use here:
In this episode, Mark Gregston answers all your questions about screen time. He shares that the number of teens and pre-teens with cell phones has dramatically increased over the last several years and shares advice from David Murrow’s book, “Drowning in Screen Time.” Tune in for more on helping your teens learn to make independent decisions that help them and you!
Mark Gregston is joined by Wayne Shepherd to discuss advice for divorced parents with part-time custody arrangements. When your teen doesn't live with you all the time, it can be challenging to accept that there are certain things you cannot change about how your ex-spouse might approach parenting. However, it's important to stick with YOUR rules and expectations for your teen in your house, and remember that God will not abandon you — even on the hard days. Listen in now!
As a parent, one of the most important realizations you can come to with your teen is that every behavior you see is a direct result of hidden motivations. In this devotional, Mark Gregston teaches that you must learn to identify your child's hidden heart issues to have a close relationship with them. Don't miss this important topic!
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