Keeping your child in the conversation with you is the first step.  The second step is to position yourself so that you can diffuse the drama instead of feeding it.  Drama feeds on drama.  Instead of yelling back or asserting authority, we can respond in a positive way with a slightly submissive posture.  Simply sitting down or doing something to serve them – like offering them a Coke – allows for that breath of space that your child might need in order to get a bit more perspective on the interaction.  With a simple act of service, the conversation can continue.

Every parent reaches that point when it seems like nothing will change.  Every parent finds themselves in a conflict with their child that seems to be the one defining moment of their relationship.  When that moment comes to you, keep your eyes on the long term.  That moment doesn’t have to define you.  Keep asking God to work on you and your child, so that He can mold you into the person He wants you to be.

Life has enough drama of its own.  Your child needs you to temper the erratic plot of their life with a relationship that’s strong and unshakable.  Your teen needs your wisdom, resolve and composure.  Keep pointing your teen toward the compassionate Director who knows the outcome … the God who cares about your conversations and every single aspect of your child’s story.

Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder and director of Heartlight, located in Hallsville, Texas.  For more information and helpful resources for moms and dads, check out our website.  It’s filled with ideas and tools to help you become a more effective parent.  Go to  Or read other helpful articles by Mark, at  You can also call Heartlight directly at (903) 668-2173.  Hear the Parenting Today’s Teens broadcast on a radio station near you, or download the podcast at

Publication date: July 10, 2012