Parenting - Teens

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Dear Parent,

I just want to encourage you this very minute. You are extremely important to your teenager whether they acknowledge it or not. Now with that being said, you need to know that you are probably being replaced as the “best friend” in their life. Some of you are shaking your heads as you read this , because you have already dealt with this very issue. One of the hardest things to understand as a parent is how very important friends are toyour teen and how not to take it personally when you aren’t the “go to” person anymore.

Talk to your teenager about their friends. Help them determine the qualities of a good friend. And remember , listen to what your teen has to say regarding friendship. They are smart and can be discerning if they aren’t shut down by all of the requirements that you have for prospective friends. You taught them about respect, and trustworthiness, and character. They won’t forget those lessons as they choose their friends.

Allow this to be a time when you can talk openly with your teenager about friendship. Allow them to be just as open. Sometimes it’s very easy to have expectations of your teen that you aren’t willing to have from yourself. Do your friend choices match up with what you are requiring of your teenager? They watch and often navigate down the same roads their parents have taken. Ask yourself if this would be a hard mirror to look in?

The video we are providing gives you great ideas on how to help your teen foster true friendships and learn how to be a true friend themselves. Just remember, you aren’t being replaced. It’s more like they are learning how to better appreciate you in later years. Ok, maybe it is being replaced for a short time. But they need a parent more than they need a friend right now anyways!

Walking this road with you,

Kim Constantino

Shepherding Their Heart- Part Two

Dear Parent,
If you haven’t had a chance to view this month’s video, I would like to encourage you to take a few moments to watch it:

Today I want to share an encouraging Scripture with you. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”  Paul wrote those words to a the church in Corinth. He wasn’t speaking about parenting specifically, but he was giving a beautiful picture of spiritual leadership.

You see, the way you as a parent will be able to shepherd the heart of your teenager is for you to simply follow after Christ.  I know it can be intimidating to lead spiritually.  That’s why I love this Scripture. It simplifies the whole process.

1) Follow Christ, and don’t be afraid to let your teenager see you do it.

2) Have the courage to invite your teenager to follow with you.  None of us are perfect, but Christ is.  Just tell your teenager, “I’m following Christ every day, so if you want to know how to follow Him, you can follow me.”

That sounds spiritually arrogant doesn’t it?  It sounds like you are the expert in following Jesus.

Paul wasn’t expressing spiritual arrogance when he made the statement.  Paul was saying, “I love you so much, that I am willing to walk in front of you and lead the way to Jesus.”

Have you ever been completely lost?  Have you ever had the experience of stopping to ask for directions, and the person doesn’t just tell you where to go but they lead you there?

It’s so comforting isn’t it?  That’s the gift you offer your teenager when you offer to blaze a trail for them to follow in their spiritual journey.

Walking this journey with you,

Kim Constantino

Shepherding Their Heart

Dear Parent,

This month is about the importance of your role in the life of your teenager. I know there are times that the only role you feel you have is that of an ATM, chauffeur, and referee! But please know that it is a proven fact that you as a parent have more influence in your teen’s life than any other factor. It doesn’t always seem that way but it is true. Just to be honest, parenting a teenager can often be discouraging and overwhelming.

It’s during these times that you have to remember that you play a huge part in guiding and teaching your teen. And to do that well, you have to have confidence! But not any old kind of confidence. It has to be God sized. I like to call it God confidence! It’s the kind of confidence you have, when you are questioning everything and feel absolutely lost, but know that you work inside of truth!

Your teen is lucky to have you. Someday they may even tell you that!

Here is a short video to encourage you today:

Walking this journey with you,

Kim Constantino

Failure and Success

Dear Parent,

“My great concern is not that you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” You know who said that? This man lost his job, buried his fiancee’, and was defeated in eight different political elections. This great man was Abraham Lincoln.

Why does failure scare us so? Especially as parents. It is the contentment with failure that should terrify us. We must teach our teens that failure is a reason not to quit but to keep trying. It doesn’t define us, but it can direct us.

As a parent, we love to see our children succeed in anything they do. But ask yourself this question. When did you draw closer to God? When could you hear His voice just a little clearer? Defeat isn’t bad. It’s what we do with it that counts.

Here’s a 3 minute and 56 second video that will encourage you to push past failure…

Walking this journey with you,

Kim Constantino

Choosing Wisely

Dear Parent,

What exactly constitutes a wise choice? Is it a choice that ultimately puts you in a good light? Is it a decision the affects others positively? Is it subjective to the situation you happen to be in at the moment? I don’t know about you, but this is a really tough question for me. I would like to think I make wise choices consistently, but the truth of the matter is I don’t. Many times I have smacked myself in the forehead and said “if only I hadn’t…” or ” I wish I had…”.

So if it is hard for us as adults to make wise choices, how much harder is it for our teenagers to do the same? So much of who they are at this point is governed by emotions. And we know emotions are not very helpful in making wise choices, at all!

Choices are and will always be a part of most aspects of our daily lives. How do we help our teens learn how to make those choices count? I would like to encourage you to watch the following video that deals with our teens and their choices. Maybe it will give you a different perspective. And different perspectives often lead to different choices!

Walking this journey with you,

Kim Constantino

Responding vs Reacting

Dear Parent,


I’m Kim Constantino, the new Family Life Minister at Risen Christ. I’m happy to take over for Pastor in reaching out to parents twice a month with information I hope you’ll find valuable on topics relevant to life as a parent in today’s world. Below you’ll find this month’s topic on Responding vs Reacting. 


One of the hardest things in the world to do is to respond to your teen as they are throwing an attitude instead of reacting to them. What’s the difference? Well, reacting is based on emotion which we all know is rampant when dealing with a teenager. We respond to the situation when we step back from the emotion and take a moment to think through what is really going on. Like I said, it’s not easy!


Parents, the secret is out. The map to your “buttons” has been published , and your teen will push them. Repeatedly. But we do our own share of pushing, don’t we? You know what makes your teenager crazy and sometimes, just sometimes, it feels really good to give them a good share of their own medicine. At least for a moment, until we realize we have done exactly what we are trying to teach them NOT to do! Two steps forward, one step back! Just keep moving forward.
Walking this journey with you,


Please take a moment to watch this video.


Your Partner in Parenting,


Kim Constantino

Taking Pride pt 2

Dear Parent,

Does it seem like your teenager just doesn’t care about their grades or their attitude or even your opinion?

How can help your teenager value themselves?

One way you can do that is to take some time to remind them where our ultimate value comes from.

As believers, our identity comes from who we are in Christ. I want to share with you a reading we use in our Manhood/Womanhood Rite of Passage for 12th graders. It was written by Dr. Ed Laymance and it is full of biblical truth that reminds us as believers we are a “Child of the King”

Because of who Jesus Christ is, and
because He is my Savior and my Lord:
I am a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. I am chosen, accepted,
and included – a citizen of heaven and a member of God’s household.
I am loved by God unconditionally and without reservation.
I belong to Him, having been bought by Him with the
precious blood of Jesus. I have eternal life and will be
saved from all of God’s wrath to come – guaranteed!
I am a Christian. I am not just different in what I do.
My identity has changed. Who I am has changed. Everything has
become brand new.
I am a dwelling place in which God lives by His Spirit.
I have access to Him anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
I am God’s creation – His workmanship. I was created by Him
and for Him, so who I am and what I do matters.
I am spiritually alive. I have been set free from the fear of death
and have been given life to live and enjoy to the full.
I am forgiven – completely, totally, and absolutely.
I have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and
brought into the Kingdom of light – the Kingdom of the Son.
I have been set free from the penalty of sin and the power of sin.
I am an enemy of Satan and at war with spiritual forces of evil, but
greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
If God is for me, it doesn’t matter who or what stands against me,
because nothing and no one can separate me from the love of Christ –
not hurt, pain, loss, problem, or brokenness;
not persecution, trouble, difficulty, or danger;
not abandonment, abuse, addictions, or appetites;
not desires, food, sexuality, or relationships;
not life or death, angels or demons;
not my past, the present, or the future;
no power, no person, no place, not anything in all creation;
not even Satan himself shall prevail.
I am in the hands of Jesus, in the hands of God, and nothing and
no one can snatch me out of God’s hands.
I will fear no evil because God is with me, and
He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me.
God’s presence is with me everywhere I go –
to the heights of heaven,
through the valley of the shadow,
to the ends of the earth – forever and always.
I am a child of the King and choose this day to live as one

Walking this journey with you!

Pastor Deknatel