Ep. 55: End of School & Graduation Gifts

Ep. 55: End of School & Graduation Gifts

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Summary:
The end of the year is a busy, sometimes stressful time for students, teachers, and parents alike. As everyone wraps up another school year, we’ve got tips and tricks for finishing the year strong, out-of-the-box graduation gifts, and keeping in touch after commencement.

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.

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Ep. 54: Mental Health Awareness & Booktok

Ep. 54: Mental Health Awareness & Booktok

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Summary:
Even now, there are many misconceptions about mental health problems and their treatment. Join Chris and Karlie as they talk about common myths versus the reality of mental health issues.

Then, have you heard of BookTok? Don’t miss this overview of the latest social media trend to hit TikTok.

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.

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Ep. 53: Gratitude & Teen Terms 3

Ep. 53: Gratitude & Teen Terms 3

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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.

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Ep. 52: Alcohol & Testing

Ep. 52: Alcohol & Testing

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Summary:
If you’ve ever been a teen, past or present, you know that teenage drinking is an unavoidable topic. Whether or not you suspect your teen is consuming alcohol, it’s a conversation worth having.

We’re here in episode 52 of the Teen Life Podcast to give you a better picture of what the stats are for underage drinking in 2022, as well as tips for having useful conversations about it.

We also talk ACT versus SAT testing, the benefits of each and why schools are moving away from requiring test scores for admission. Stick around for our test-taking tips at the end!

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.

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Diagnosis: Loneliness

Diagnosis: Loneliness

Truth be told, I’m a pretty stubborn guy. Just ask anyone in my family. It’s a feature which serves me well at times, but more often than not is to my detriment. The main area I tend to be stubborn is being honest about my shortcomings. Often when confronted with areas I don’t measure up, I default more to defensiveness than acceptance and this leads to more friction.

Why am I telling you this, you might wonder? Well, I wish to be as honest as I can on this post as a way to forge some crucial conversations around our teenagers.

The truth is: I have been lonely lately.

And, I think it has been that way since this pandemic hit. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have amazing relationships in my life that are there for me at the drop of a hat. I lack nothing in relationships. But, that is what makes this so weird to reckon with.

During the early days of the pandemic, we stayed home and hunkered down. I didn’t see anyone (physically) outside of my family for a very extended period of time. I associated physical connection with disease and spread. While it was necessary and needed, it was also traumatic and life-altering.

There was a lot of fear in those early days of the pandemic. When fear persists, we withdraw and keep tight circles as means of preservation. And, this is quite natural…over short periods of time.

But the long, drawn out nature of this pandemic has turned what was supposed to be temporary to a full scale upheaval of our habits and impulses.

And when we change the very nature of our relationships over a long enough period, they become “the new normal” that everyone likes to refer to.

Our interactions have become shorter. We leave the house less. Fewer details are shared in conversations. We say less. When people call, we hit “decline” even though we know it would be good to talk.

I am lonely. Likely you are too.

And the teenagers in our world almost certainly are.

A recent study found 61% of young adults (including older adolescents) reported feeling “serious loneliness” in the past month while only 27% of adults 55-65 reported this form of loneliness.

The supposed “most connected generation” is in-turn the most lonely and disconnected of all. (Read our recent post on gen z and loneliness.)

I guess what I am saying is if you or I are feeling lonely, that burden likely falls much heavier on the shoulders of the younger and more vulnerable of our population.

We see it in our support groups every week here at Teen Life. Since schools have reopened, our teens are quick to talk, lean in, and share. We take for granted that today’s teenagers actually have someone to talk to about meaningful things! I’ve been shocked how quickly and to what degree teens will share vulnerable and honest information about their lives.

Teens are lonely. So are we.

So, what do we do?

A recent New York Times article goes into great detail on this “Loneliness Epidemic” happening within one of the largest cities on the planet – New York City. Towards the end of the article, the authors share some ideas on how to combat this epidemic, but one really stood out to me.

Ask for help.

But, I don’t mean it the way it probably sounds.

That is, ask for help for….something. Anything.

For a teenager, maybe the ask for help with:

  • Homework
  • A problem to solve
  • Relationship issues
  • Learning something new
  • A challenge

When teens hear “ask for help” it’s often interpreted as “cry out for help” – which seems overwhelming. But when we just ask for help, we are communicating a need for connection, and giving someone else an opportunity to step in and get the good feeling of helping someone.

Everyone wins, and everyone’s a little less lonely.

An epidemic like loneliness can only be defeated by pulling together for the sake of the most vulnerable. The teens in our lives need us more than ever, and if we can give them better tools (like teaching them how to ask for help), we will see a generation that finds hope in healthier relationships and deeper connections.

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.
Ep. 51: Marijuana & TikTok Stories

Ep. 51: Marijuana & TikTok Stories

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Summary:
Do you know the warning signs that your teen is using drugs? In episode 51, Chris and Karlie discuss marijuana laws, use and paraphernalia. They take a quick dive into what to look for and how to talk with your teen about the effects of marijuana use on teens. You’ll also get an update on social media trends, specifically in TikTok. Then, don’t miss Karlie’s tip this week on how to read and listen to more books for free!

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.

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Ep. 50: Teen Life’s Top Five

Ep. 50: Teen Life’s Top Five

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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. 49: Deep Dive on Pornography

Ep. 49: Deep Dive on Pornography

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Summary:

Access to pornography is easier than ever and our teens are at risk of violence, failed relationships and low self-esteem. All of this makes it crucial for adults to be informed on how pornography affects developing minds and how to approach teens about sex, relationships and porn.

In episode 49, the Teen Life team takes a closer look at some of the dangers and consequences of pornography for our teens, while also giving practical tips on how to have positive conversations around this topic. 

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.

Tobin Hodges

Tobin Hodges

Program Director

Tobin graduated with a Bachelors of Music from Texas Tech University. A teacher’s kid twice over, he taught for 13 years before coming to Teen Life. His entire career has been centered around helping students and teens from all walks of life become the best version of themselves

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.

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Ep. 48: Pornography & Acronyms 2

Ep. 48: Pornography & Acronyms 2

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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

Ep. 47: Digital Money & NFTs

Ep. 47: Digital Money & NFTs

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Summary:
If you’re confused about NFTs, you aren’t alone. Chris and Karlie talk non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency in episode 47. What are they and why do they matter? They also explore how teens can invest and how to stay safe when shopping for NFTs. Don’t miss this week’s tip for a very useful safety feature on your phone that you probably don’t know you already have.

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