Carrie Gurley Talks Dating Violence

Carrie Gurley Talks Dating Violence

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 Dating violence is something we often hear about but don’t know what to do. Surely I don’t know a teenager in an abusive relationship! In this episode, Carrie Gurley defines dating violence and gives tips for how we can become more educated and better prepared to walk teenagers through difficult relationships. Aren’t sure where to start with dating violence? Don’t panic!

In this episode, you’ll find out…

  • What dating violence is and how it is seen among teenagers.
  • Ways to teenagers can be protected from abusive relationships.
  • Some ways to support a teen who is in a violent relationship.
  • Warning signs that a teenager might be in an unhealthy relationship.
  • Long term consequences because of dating violence.
Ask yourself…
  • Have I noticed any concerning changes in the behavior of a teen?
  • Am I willing to listen without judgment?
Go ask a teen…
  • What boundaries have you put on your relationship? How is that going?
  • Does your school talk about dating violence?
  • What would you do if your best friend was in a violent relationship?
Resources:

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:

Carrie has served as the Executive Director of Valiant Hearts (formerly We Are Cherished) since 2014. She is passionate about the mission to reach and empower women in the sex industry. She is responsible for developing and implementing the programs to serve this vision as well as building a strong team of staff and volunteers to carry out this mission. Carrie has served in various ministries for the past two decades. She has been a Bible teacher, conference and retreat speaker, curriculum developer, church planter, children’s minister and intercessor. Follow her on Twitter!

Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Lifeline, Inc. 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 Lifeline’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!
Ask These 5 Questions First

Ask These 5 Questions First

This past week, I watched Apple’s WWDC event. There is a formula for events that big to go well. While there isn’t so much a formula for helping students, there are some things we can apply to many different situations in order to form a process that can most often lead to the best results.

Our steps have been formed over more than a decade of working with students (7 years as Teen Lifeline), and we keep working to make them better. We get calls fairly often from parents asking how they can get help for their teen. When we get those calls, there are some questions I like to work through that seem most helpful and help me know what information and resources would be best to offer.

These questions are not necessarily in any particular order, but I do typically work through them as I have listed them below. You can decide where you want to start and end in your own situations.

What have you tried? This is an important question for 2 reasons:
1. Gathering this information helps you know how invested the person (or people) is in the process of solving this problem.
2. It also helps you know what has already been tried not only so you don’t repeat, but so you can ask good follow up questions about what has or hasn’t worked in the past.

Once you know these things, you can begin an informed process of making intelligent, helpful suggestions.

What is your teen willing to do? This is HUGE! I still can’t believe when I talk to parents who say, “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to them about it” or “Oh, please don’t tell them I’ve talked to you!” What?! That isn’t going to work. I mean, I understand the thinking behind this, but as the adult, we must know that buy-in from our students is required to be able to move forward.

What do you think will work best? This question needs to be asked in the context of offering options. So you would use it by saying, “Well, I know a good counselor (or group therapist or youth pastor) that could work with your Johnny. Which one do you think will work best for them?” Maybe they have already tried some of these options, so starting with a different one will feel like a new start. The goal here is to get a level of commitment to the process from both the parent and the teen.

What are you willing to do? I’m always careful not to come across wrong when asking this question, but it is so important. Are you willing to take them to counseling and to pay for it? Are you willing to do follow up with them, sit down and have conversation with them? Are you willing to get involved in the mess for as long as it takes to be able to resolve and equip your child to handle what is going on? If they are not willing, you’re talking to the wrong person.

Will you keep trying resources until you find one that works? So many times people give up too soon. The fact is, working on the issue is sometimes the point. It’s not what method you are using but the fact that you are actively working to make things better. So when you try one thing that doesn’t seem to work the way you want it to and give up, you have officially decided you are okay with the issue or behavior continuing.

 

As I said at the beginning of this post, this is what we are working with today, but we are always looking for ways to improve. Please share your input and ideas so that we can keep making the way we help teens and families better all the time. 

Ricky Lewis is our Executive Director and has been with us since the beginning. As a father of 4, he seeks to help parents and their kids Live Life Better.
Helping When It Hurts

Helping When It Hurts

I just got back from serving with LiveBeyond in Thomazeau, Haiti, where poverty, starvation, sickness and Satan can be seen at every corner. While I was still processing this level of hurt and pain, I came home to the injustice of the Orlando shooting.

Hurt has so many different faces.

Hurt looks like scrubbing a tiny Haitian head that is covered in ringworm. Hurt looks like hundreds of people mourning the loss of loved ones to gunshots. Hurt looks like students feeling unsafe at their schools because of bullies. Hurt looks like shoeless feet traveling miles to receive medical care. Hurt looks like a nation crying out after acts of hate and prejudice. Hurt looks like a teenager struggling after his parents go through a painful divorce.

Hurt can be overwhelming and sometimes it is easier to do nothing rather than wade into the unknown of pain. However, if there is anything that I have learned while in Haiti, it is that we cannot simply sit back and stay quiet. If not us, then who?

But where do we start? How can I help people that are miles, states or even nations away?

There isn’t an easy or fix-it-all answer, but hopefully these can provide a good starting place for how to help in the midst of hurt:

Focus on the person in front of you.

Are you far away from Orlando or Haiti? Unless you have time off and money for a plane ticket, that is probably not going to change, but you can love on that neighbor who is also struggling. Or you can tell a friend who feels targeted how sorry you are. You can take food to someone who has recently experienced loss, or volunteer with a local organization.

When there is a tragedy or when the hurt and pain is too overwhelming, start by loving the person directly in front of you. Don’t freeze. Don’t turn around and run. By focusing on one person at a time, you are making a difference in a manageable way! Once you have made that person in front of you feel loved and heard, move on to another person and do the same for them!

Find ways to encourage from afar.

Technology has made it incredibly easy to connect with people in other states, countries or continents! If you can’t stand in front of someone who is hurting, find ways to encourage them from where you are. Here are a few ideas of how to help from your own home:

  • Spend time in prayer for those that are hurting. For example, print off the names of those who died in Orlando – spend time specifically praying for their families by name.
  • Send letters, Facebook messages or care packages. Find those who are affected or maybe those who are living in areas where they are interacting with hurting people and encourage them with words and thoughtful gestures!
  • Support organizations who are helping those in need. Even if you only have $10 a month, you can partner with an organization and make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting.

Take up the cause of the oppressed.

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 22:16

Since I am a Christian, the message of this verse is very clear – if I want to know God, it is my job to defend the poor and needy.

If you are not motivated by Christianity or a sense of higher calling, you can still stand in the gap for those who have no one else to defend them or speak on their behalf.

This does not mean that you need to go on a 2,000 word Facebook rant to shame those who act out in hate, but instead think about how you can offer your thoughts, prayers and encouragement in a short, positive post. Maybe defending their cause means bringing hope and understanding into a conversation of condemnation.

For me, it means talking about the organizations and people I love (like Teen Lifeline & LiveBeyond) whenever possible. I can share the struggles and challenges of teenagers and the people of Haiti. I can bring awareness and recruit others to join their cause.

So, I am asking you to join me. Let’s not sit by and retreat in times of pain! Instead, let’s try to help in the midst of hurt. Do you have any other ideas of how to help in times of pain and hurt? We would love to hear them!

Karlie Duke was in one of Teen Lifeline’s original support groups and now is our Communications Director. She is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories.
Don’t Panic about Grief with Beverly Ross

Don’t Panic about Grief with Beverly Ross

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Grief comes in many different forms, but it is something everyone deals with at some point in life. This episode, Chris and Karlie are joined by Beverly Ross to talk about the the basics of grief, what to expect from a grieving teenager and how we can better support teens who are grieving. Don’t panic about grief, there is a way to bring hope and encouragement to difficult circumstances!

In this episode, you’ll find out…
  • Some of the unique ways teenagers deal with grief.
  • Advice about what can be said or done to better walk alongside a teen experiencing grief.
  • Signs that a teen might need to seek help from a professional.
  • Examples of grief-producers, especially for teenagers.
  • How to use the acronym PERS (Physical, Emotional, Relational, Spiritual) to positively cope with grief.
  • Ways we as a community can surround and encourage those who are grieving.
Ask yourself…
  • Am I putting too much pressure on myself to do or say the perfect thing?
  • Could this teenager be talking to someone else if they aren’t talking to me?
  • Am I aware of important dates that I need to remember and recognize?
Go ask a teen…
  • What do you need?
  • What is it like for you right now? Tell me your story.
  • What would you like to do for holidays? How would you like to hold space?
Resources:

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:

Beverly Ross, M.A., LPC-S, is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and the Executive Director of Wise County Christian Counseling. She is experienced in dealing with marriage and family matters, as well as individual issues such as depression, anxiety and grief support.  Beverly is a sought-after speaker and an international advocate for women’s ministries.  Follow her on Twitter!

Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Lifeline, Inc. 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 Lifeline’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!
Don’t Panic – Get Involved in Schools!

Don’t Panic – Get Involved in Schools!

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School is a major part of every teenager’s life. It is also the best way to serve and reach students on their turf. In this episode, Chris and Karlie discuss the importance of adult involvement in schools and how you can be a resource to your community. Don’t panic about the current state of our teenagers and their schools, let’s get involved and start making a difference by reaching out to public schools!

In this episode, you’ll find out…

  • Why it is important to volunteer and get involved in your local school.
  • How school involvement benefits both the school staff and the students.
  • Real-life examples of ways to get involved in schools.
  • 3 different stories of how people in our community our reaching out to schools.
  • A 3-step process to volunteering on a school campus.

Ask yourself…

  • Is there a school close by that I would like to get involved with?
  • What skills or services could I offer to my local school?

Go ask a school campus…

  • Do you have a volunteer coordinator that I can get in touch with?
  • How can I help?
  • What can I do to support your staff and students?

Resources:

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:

Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Lifeline, Inc. 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 Lifeline’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!