How to Talk About School Shootings

How to Talk About School Shootings

 Listen & Subscribe

 

Summary:
We wish you never had to have this conversation, but it is an important one in light of the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. In this brief episode, Karlie talks through some tips on how to talk about school shootings and also gives some ideas for how to be part of the solution moving forward. We hope this is a helpful resource as you continue to connect with the teenagers in your life.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources:

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!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

Follow Us

If you’re present, they will come.

If you’re present, they will come.

In March of 2020, I knew the names of a lot of my neighbors. We’d lived in our house for over 4 years, and we’d always walked a lot around our neighborhood. We have the kind of neighborhood where a lot of people sit on their front porch or stop us to ask if the boys would like to pet their dog. So, we probably knew the names of a few people on every street- in a casual, hello and goodbye sort of way.

I knew the names of my immediate neighbors but rarely saw them for more than a few minutes at a time.

And then suddenly, we were home. And all we had to do was walk. As a consequence, we were always outside, and very often, if we weren’t walking, we were camped out in our garage or on our driveway.

If anyone appeared in our alleyway for any reason, we were ready with enthusiastic hellos and nothing but time.

It didn’t happen overnight.

But in a long series of waves and hellos, we made friends. They brought their vacation pictures from 20 years ago to show us the time they were in Rome. We traded halves of cakes, loaves of bread, and cups of sugar.

We watched the people on our street change and new people arrived. There we were with baked goods and enthusiastic hellos, and more to the point, availability.

We don’t know everyone the same, but our relationships are deeper. More meaningful. More connected.

Somewhere in the middle, people went back to the office or back to restaurants and stores, but they also started coming over and cracking the front door to call in when they knew we were home. People who have little in common with us except for location became friends.

I tell you this story to say this:

You may feel like you have nothing in common with teens. Like they don’t want you around or don’t want to talk. But the number one quality that will draw them in and keep them coming back is availability.

Your un-pressured, unhurried, undivided presence.

It may seem impossible for any number of reasons. But if you build it, they will come.

Make tea, grab a book, and wait where they will be, ready with an enthusiastic hello and nothing but time.

Our CEO, Chris Robey, was talking about tech breaks recently. One day, he was walking into a support group he was leading when he realized he had left his phone in his car by accident. He usually set his phone to “do not disturb”. However, he found that he was more present and a better listener without it. He wasn’t wondering whether he needed to answer a text or how much time they had left. In short, he was more available, physically and mentally.

After that group, he started leaving his phone on purpose. If it’s as easy as removing the distraction, why not?

A huge part of availability is removing distractions and showing up!

Here are a few tips for setting the stage:

  • Set aside time every day that you aren’t looking at your phone.
  • Don’t take it personally if it seems like they don’t have time or don’t care. It definitely matters to them, but sometimes, at the moment, they don’t recognize it.
  • Be wherever your teen will find you. Pick a common area where you can read a book, fold laundry, do a crossword puzzle, or do anything else that doesn’t require a screen. If you aren’t present, it’s harder to be available. As a bonus, slowing down sets a great example and is good for your mental health.
  • Create opportunity. Invite your teen to do something they enjoy regularly. Ask them for help with something you don’t know how to do. Ask them to go for a walk around the block. If you continue to seek them out, they are more likely to do the same.
  • Be emotionally present. When appropriate, talk about your feelings and ask them about theirs. Get curious about what makes them tick.
  • Be shock-proof no matter what. You might not get a second chance if they don’t feel like they can trust you with hard things.

​If you haven’t been readily available before now, creating trust will take time. But trust me, if you stay consistent, they will come.

Consider the time you spend now on availability an investment in your relationship. Over the long term, the payoff is most likely better than you expect it will be!

Kelly Fann

Kelly Fann

Digital Media Manager

Kelly has lived in three countries and worked with teens across the world, encouraging them to pursue their passions and to be kind. She’s been refining messages and telling stories for brands and non-profits since 2009.

Ep. 56: Teen Virtues & Marvel

Ep. 56: Teen Virtues & Marvel

 Listen & Subscribe

 

Summary:
Join Chris and Karlie in one of their most important conversations to date. Learn this simple trick to harness the power of words to encourage and affirm teens. You’ll also love this episode’s deep dive into the world of Marvel, parental warnings and great takeaways.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources:

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!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.
Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

Follow Us

Ep. 53: Gratitude & Teen Terms 3

Ep. 53: Gratitude & Teen Terms 3

 Listen & Subscribe

 

Summary:
If you’re feeling hopeless or even just a little down, gratitude is one of the best antidotes. Chris and Karlie talk about guiding teens to be thankful for the little things that are going right and the incredible benefits that gratefulness brings.

They also dive into some teen terms you might be hearing or confused about and how to raise capable teenagers using the “funnel theory”.

It’s an episode full of really practical information and tips that will leave you more empowered and maybe even a little more hopeful!

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources:

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!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

Follow Us

Ep. 50: Teen Life’s Top Five

Ep. 50: Teen Life’s Top Five

 Listen & Subscribe

 

Summary:
It’s our 50th episode since rebooting the podcast and we’re celebrating by revisiting some of our most impactful topics, trends and tips! Listen to get a great overview of topics like trauma triggers, pronouns, and helping teens manage stress.

We’ll also see how some of the trends we’ve talked about have panned out. We know that it’s hard for teachers and parents to protect their own mental health sometimes. Make sure to catch our tips for staying healthy yourself while working with teens.

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!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

Follow Us

Ep. 48: Pornography & Acronyms 2

Ep. 48: Pornography & Acronyms 2

 Listen & Subscribe

 

Summary:
Pornography is a topic that affects everyone, whether they realize it or not. An estimated 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume it. What’s more, as many as 93.2% of boys and 62.1% of girls first see porn before they turn 18, with estimates of first exposure at an average age of 13 or younger.

In episode 48, Chris and Karlie give a big picture overview of the effects pornography has on developing minds and ways adults can help teens navigate the inevitable dangers of online porn. They also dive into acronyms that every parent needs to know and ways that Disney+ is changing.

In this episode, we mentioned or used the following resources:

Acronyms You Need To Know:

Normal Acronyms:

  • TTM: Talk to me
  • TFW: that feeling when
  • YKTV: you know the vibe
  • FR: For real
  • 53X: Sex

Sexual Acronyms:

  • LMIRL: Let’s meet in real life
  • ASL: Age/sex/location
  • FYEO or 4YEO: For your eyes only (may indicate explicit photos)
  • TDTM: Talk dirty to me
  • NSFW: Not safe/suitable for work (most of the time inappropriate/to make sure adults aren’t looking at it)
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!
About Us:
Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Chris has worked with teens from a variety of backgrounds for over a decade. He has a desire to help teenagers make good choices while also giving their families tools to communicate more effectively as choices are made.

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Karlie was in one of Teen Life’s original support groups and has always had a heart for teenagers and the vulnerable life stage they are in. She has a wealth of experience to share from working with teens in ministry and leading support groups.

Follow Us