13 Reasons Why: Relationships

13 Reasons Why: Relationships

 

In this episode of the Teen Life Podcast’s series on the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the Teen Life staff is talking about teen relationships. Relationships are a critical part of a teenager’s life, and for this episode, we are focusing on romantic and friendship relationships between the characters in 13 Reasons Why.

The Teen Life Podcast wants to shine a light on the different relationships teenagers might experience and offer some insight into the importance of healthy relationships. In this episode, we are talking about love triangles, loss of virginity, dating relationships, friendships, and isolation vs. community.

Is your teenager trying to navigate new relationships? Are you unsure of what they are going through? Join our conversation about teen relationships and share this with a friend who could also benefit!

 

Listen & Subscribe:  iTunes | Google Play | RSS

Resources:
In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:
Beth Nichols graduated in 2003 with a degree in Social Work from Abilene Christian University. She completed her Masters Degree, also in Social Work, from the University of Tennessee in 2004. Beth previously worked as the Program Manager for Communities in Schools of the the Heart of Texas and is now the Program Director for Teen Life. She believes teens are learning to navigate the world in a unique way, and is excited to have the opportunity to work with students and their families.
Chris Robey is the CEO of Teen Life. Earlier in his career while working as a youth minister, Chris earned a Masters Degree in Family Life Education from Lubbock Christian University to better equip his work with teenagers and families. Chris’ career and educational opportunities have exposed him to teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. Follow him on Twitter!
Karlie Duke is Teen Life’s Marketing & Development Director, joining Teen Life after graduating from Abilene Christian University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Family Studies. Karlie has worked with teenagers for the past 6 years and is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram!
Have a question?
If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
Navigating Relationships

Navigating Relationships

Talking to teens about love and relationships is awkward. They have questions, they say inappropriate things to test boundaries, they may have more experience than they should, they may witness unhealthy relationships at home, they may not even know what they are feeling. Relationships in the teenage years are difficult, and they need trusted adults to help them navigate how to have a healthy relationship. Teens who have relationships in high school are beginning to build the foundation for which they will base future relationships, so we need to do our best to set them up for success by remembering how emotional teens are and how hard learning to be in a relationship was for all of us.  

 

Adults forget (or suppress) what it was like to be a hormonal teenager.

Let’s face it, hormones are a real struggle. They literally change a teen overnight and daily thereafter. There is a heightened sense of being on an emotional roller coaster, seemingly without end. As adults, we suppress the memories of those out of control feelings and place pressure on teens to feel differently when they begin talking about relationships. Our teenagers are in a constant state of change, and we need to give space for them to feel what they are feeling when they feel something. Teens trust adults who are willing to hear them out and listen to their reasonings for their relationships. We should assist teens in navigating their feelings and help them understand the many aspects that come with being in a healthy relationship.

 

Relationships are hard. No matter the age.

Since I have journeyed into young adulthood, I have found it so incredibly easy to pretend like I know how to have a completely healthy and ‘normal’ relationship. Here’s the thing though: that is so not true. Adults (me included) like to pretend that things are better and perfect, but this lie can be so damaging when talking to teens. Teens are more responsive when they hear that an adult they respect has struggled or still struggles with creating healthy relationships. By admitting that relationships are difficult no matter how old we get, teens are able to make more informed decisions for their own lives. They can learn from our mistakes and our successes. Most of the teens we work with are coming from homes that do not have a model of what a healthy relationship looks like which can lead them to making some risky choices. Trusted adults should be the ones who model what is healthy and then allow teens to ask questions about relationships (with no judgement), no matter how awkward they may be.

 

As adults, I believe it is important to be open and honest about how hard relationships are. Teens feel so out of place as they attempt to define who they are and the best way to support them through figuring out relationships is to simply give them space to ask questions. We can also ask these questions of them:

What do you like about the person you are with?

Do you have boundaries that have been shared?

What are some things you like to do together?

What do you expect out of your relationship?

Shelbie Fowler is currently a volunteer for Teen Life and has her Masters in Family Studies. She is passionate about being an advocate for family life education in order to grow families stronger.

The 5 “A’s” of Connection

The 5 “A’s” of Connection

 Listen & Subscribe

YouTube

In this episode of the Stay Calm, Don’t Panic! Podcast, Chris Robey is joined by Beverly Ross to discuss how we can increase our connection with teenagers. Beverly offers five easy ways to get better at connecting with others. As an expert in the counseling realm, Beverly’s wisdom is invaluable! Let’s work on making our homes, classrooms, and churches safe places for connection.

There should be more a voice of gratitude in my home than a voice of correction.
Beverly Ross

In this episode, Beverly Ross discusses increased connection with others through…

  1. Attention
  2. Appreciation
  3. Affection
  4. Affirmation
  5. Acceptance

Ask yourself…

  • Am I being fully present?
  • Am I being more appreciative of myself so I can appreciate others?
  • How can I better show gratitude and focus on the good in teenagers?

Go ask a teen…

  • When are the times that you feel I am not present?
  • When do you feel appreciated by me? How can I better show when I appreciate you?

In this episode, we mention or use the following resources on connecting with others.

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Beverly Ross

Beverly Ross

Special Guest

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

Let’s be friends.

Robert Purvey Talks Racism

Robert Purvey Talks Racism

Listen & Subscribe:  iTunes | Android | RSS


 

Racism is a huge topic in our country right now. This episode, Chris and Karlie are joined by Robert Purvey to start a conversation about this difficult and sometimes polarizing subject. We are excited for you to hear the wisdom and insight from Robert and he brings up the importance of talking about racism with our teenagers. 
[bctt tweet=”We have to teach our teens to love people, period. // @dontpanicpodcast” via=”no”]
In this episode, you’ll find out…
  • What is racism?
  • How media and the news is affecting teen culture.
  • Ways we can combat racism, especially among teenagers.
  • Some insight into #BlackLivesMatter and White Privilege.
  • How adults can handle conversations about race with teenagers.
Ask yourself…
  • Do I need to address my own view of racism before I talk to teens?
  • How can I intentionally encourage communication and understanding among teenagers about racism?
Go ask a teen…
  • What has your experience with racism been?
  • Where are you learning about racism? Do you have a trusted adult you can talk to about this?
Resources:

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:

Robert Purvey is the Associate Pastor of High School and Young Adults at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. Robert travels nationally ministering to several Churches, Youth Groups, and Schools through dynamic preaching and motivational speaking. His ability to minister to people of all races, cultures, and generations makes him a commanding and captivating communicator.

Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Life. Earlier in his career while working as a youth minister, Chris earned a Masters Degree in Family Life Education from Lubbock Christian University to better equip his work with teenagers and families. Chris’ career and educational opportunities have exposed him to teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. Follow him on Twitter!

Karlie Duke started working as Teen Life’s Communications Director after graduating from Abilene Christian University with a degree in Communications with a minor in Family Studies. Karlie has worked with teenagers for the past 5 years and is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram!

Have a question?
If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
The Power of Your Words

The Power of Your Words

How to harness the power of your words when speaking of teens.

Have you ever had that one person that you just really don’t like? There isn’t always good reason, but when their name is brought up, you inwardly roll your eyes and try your best to hide those negative impulses? That’s not just me…right?

Recently, I realized that I had developed an incredibly strong opinion about a person without even knowing them personally – let’s call him Max. Through other people’s opinions, I began to see Max as selfish, moody and disrespectful. What’s even worse is that I didn’t realize my bias until someone else’s opinion began to change my mind!

Once again, without any personal interaction, I created an opinion in my head based on how someone talked about Max. However, this new influencer had the opposite effect. Where I used to roll my eyes when his name was brought up, suddenly, I found myself defending his decisions and giving him the benefit of the doubt when he made mistakes. After spending time with one of Max’s best friends, I stopped treating Max like he had personally wronged me (which he hadn’t), I began to see him as a likable, funny person who needed a little grace, just like the rest of us.

All because of one opinion.

You might be asking – what did they say? How can a few words change your opinion so quickly? And that’s just it – it really didn’t take much. His friend didn’t bribe me or make up stories about his heroic efforts on the weekends, they simply spoke kindly about Max. In every word, every description and even through their tone, I could tell that they genuinely believed the best about Max. There was a reason that they were friends, and it made me want to be his friend, too!

Michael Hyatt just wrote a blog about the importance of affirming your spouse, and after my experience with Max, I am a firm believer in the power of your words and their ability to shape someone’s opinion.

If it is important to lift up, encourage and affirm your spouse, it should be just as important to do the same for your kids (especially your teenagers)!

Here are a few reasons why it is crucial to speak positively about teens:

Your words will shape the opinions of others.

As parents, teachers, youth ministers, coaches and mentors, we need to check what words and stories are coming out of our mouths. Especially when you are talking to people who do not personally know that teenager, there is no excuse for gossiping and spreading negative opinions about a student. When all you do is vent to friends or other parents, you are only giving them a glimpse into the most negative aspects of that teen.

How are they supposed to overcome that difficult teacher or the task of making good friends when everyone already has negative, preconceived notions about who they are and their priorities. Give them a chance to make friends or enemies based on their own interactions, instead of the thoughtless words of an angry, frustrated adult. Choose to say kind and positive things more often than telling negative stories.

Give your friends, their teachers, and other adults a reason to like your teenager.

Your words will shape your opinion.

When you say positive things about that teenager, you will start to notice more positive things to say. Instead of jumping to the worst possible conclusion, tell others how much they are trying. Tell that story about how sweet they were when their little sister was crying (you don’t have to mention that they caused the crying in the first place). Focus on the things they are great at – whether that is school, band, being a good teammate, or helping around the house.

If you get in the habit of bragging on your kids, students and players, you might find that you have more reasons to brag on them than you originally thought. Just like your words can change the opinions of others, they can also influence your own patience and treatment of teens.

Give yourself a reason to like that teenager.

Your words will shape their opinion.

I will never forget the times that my parents bragged about me to their friends, or the time I overheard my youth minster telling someone he wanted his daughter to grow up and be like me. I can remember thinking, “If they think that of me, I need to keep going and prove them right!”

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling when you know someone is proud of you? Can you imagine what teenagers would act like if they got that feeling often – weekly, even daily?

Tell that teenager that you are proud of them. Write it in a note. Say it out loud. Tell everyone you know how great they are. Use your words to empower and encourage your teenager to act, think and live better.

Give teenagers a reason to like themselves.

I DARE YOU

Take this next week and consciously look for positive things to say about the teenagers in your life. If a negative thought or word comes up, immediately think of two positive things to replace it with.

Let us know how this experiment goes and if it changed the way you or others fell about teens. Help combat the negativity that is too often involved with these teenage years.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

More Resources You Might Like

Three part image of adult high fiving a teenager, a girl on a laptop and the omega sign similar to the omegle logo
the power of validation
A gorilla and a grizzly bear