New Resources to Help Families Navigate the Teen Years

by Dawn Oaks on October 31, 2014

Family Toolbox Image

Helping your teens navigate the waters of growing into adulthood can be challenging.  The most frustrating part is that many times they are unable to see how important their behavior and habits will directly impact their lives as adults. There is now a resource where parents and teens can join together in discussing some of these very issues and find solutions that will not only make your home more peaceful, but the future much brighter.

The Family Toolbox is a new resource kit for families with teens written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, of the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  It is a DVD / video-driven tool that promotes communication about some of the most challenging yet common issues in relationships between teens and their parents.  The tough part of these issues is that they are heart issues and not just behaviors that need adjusting.

Family Toolbox Pinnable Image

How it Works:

The Family Toolbox is a program that includes the DVD segments mentioned above, but it also comes with a study guide.  Within the study guide, there are things as a parent you should consider and work on preparing your heart for before doing the next lesson with your children. Followed by this is a brief summary that helps to create the setting for the video segment about to be watched.  After reading the summary together, the family should watch the video segment.  These segments are approximately 1-2 minutes in length.  Ideally, families should watch these segments through at least twice before delving into the discussion questions.

There are a total of 8 videos with 16 Life Success Principles being focused upon.  In reviewing the list of of the Life Success Principles, I found it hard to believe that there is a home that could not benefit from some intentional time developing these principles more:

  • Be Respectful Even When It’s Hard
  • Develop Internal Motivation
  • Develop Healthy Habits for Following Instructions
  • Look for Ways to Contribute to Family Life
  • Solve Problems Instead of Generate Conflict
  • Learn to Value Correction
  • Apologize Well
  • Develop a Plan for Being Responsible
  • Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes
  • Train Yourself to Accept No as an Answer
  • Avoid Arguing
  • View Your Family as a Team and Look for Ways to Work Together
  • Practice Flexibility When Plans Change
  • Learn to Handle Unfairness Well

Honestly, most of the Life Success Principles are things that most of us adults could benefit from working on as well.

In addition to the 8 video segments viewed as a family, there are 8 corresponding videos for parents to watch.  These videos are about 10 minutes in length.  They are presented by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in discussing our roles as parents in the dynamics we see in our own home.

Turansky Miller Headshot

Things We Liked:

There are things that really stood out to our family in using and reviewing this program~

  • The insights provided by Dr. Turansky and Joanne Miller are biblically based and speak much more to ministering to the heart of your child rather than just changing behavior.
  • The video segments are portrayed through families from different ethnic backgrounds as well as different family structures, such as single parent homes, homes where grandparents are integral in raising the children, and traditional two parent homes.  This speaks to the fact that these are issues that relate to all of our homes if we are honest with ourselves.
  • The videos are short, realistic, and not “preachy” in nature.  This is what is appealing about the program to the young adults in our lives.  I truly believe that the teens want to be a part of the solution to a more harmonious home and not just the scapegoat for everyone’s problems.
  • There is a balanced approach in responsibility on both parents and their children for making changes.  Our children’s behavior and heart may need some changes, but it is usually our parenting that allowed things to get to where they are.

What I Craved:

I truly craved a third set of videos that showed the right answer. After all, we just want to do it right.  However, in giving it more thought, I am not sure there is a single right answer.  Each family needs to work out within their own dynamic and circumstances what needs to change and how hearts need to be refocused.  Teens want to be heard and what better way to bring about the discussion and rely on one another than in not providing a scripted response to the video segments.  Fundamental to most of the challenges seen in these video segments is the need for mutual dialogue and respect in order to reach a higher ground.

The Family Toolbox is available for purchase from the National Center for Biblical Parenting at the following website. Two versions of this program are available.  A downloadable version can be purchased for $79.99 and the hard copy is available for just $20 more.  By visiting the same website, information can be obtained for using this is a small group environment either in a parenting group, bible study, or teen youth group.

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