Parent Tool Box

At Point Break there is a screw driver that seriously has become my best friend. The screw driver turned into a multipurpose tool everything from acting as a screw driver, a hammer, a punch you name it it’s most likely been used that way…but what I can tell you is having the right tool for job makes it so much easier. My goal is to put more tools in your tool box that will help you in raising your child. Everything from youth culture tips like what is snapchat or trivia crack? Maybe some thought provoking questions like what are some of your family traditions? To resources that help block things on your computer that you probably don’t want your kid looking at. Hope you find this page help!

How to use the Jaws of Life on Your Student

Ever ask your student a question only to get one word answers? If so check out this resource that is available for you…

Best Place To Hide Things is in Plain Sight


First off I want to say welcome back. It has been a busy summer with camps and mission trip and I am now getting back to the swing of posting on a regular basis. My heart as a youth pastor is to equip you parents with tools and information about this younger generation to help you parent better (not saying that you’re doing a bad job i think you’re an awesome parent). I grew up stuck in the middle of two generations. I would consider myself a little more old school but with a new school twist. Remember the days of no cell phones where your parent would whistle and you better get home??? Now-a-days it’s a text message. Technology is constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up with things. I wanted to make you aware of an app that your student(s) may be using to hide stuff from you. There is an app out there disguised as a calculator app but when you type in the right pass code it takes you to a secret place on their phone/Ipad where you can hide photos,videos, notes ect. Odds are your student could have it downloaded on their phone or you family Ipad and you may not even know. This could be a great place to hide dirty pictures or inappropriate things that they don’t want you to see. Looking back when I was as a kid if I was hiding something from my parents I probably shouldn’t have been doing it.

I know you have been waiting thinking to yourself what is the app called??? Can i get a drum roll please….The app for you Iphone people is called calculator% and in the Playstore for you Android users there is smart hide calculator or calculator vault. There are tons of similar apps out there that do the same thing but I just wanted to make you aware of the popular ones that students may be using. Hope this helps…CHEERS!- Nate

Fighting Fair


Growing up as a kid I remember my parents would get in blow out fights my mom and I would pack up and we’d be gone for a couple days. When we got back I would get a new video game. Looking back I guess it was kind of their way of saying sorry for dragging me into their fights. I’m sure they felt horrible. I asked them a couple years ago how did you guys quit fighting? Their response was “we kinda figured it out”.  It made me think what if other parents haven’t figured it out?! What is the key to figuring “it” out? Is there some sort of secret sauce?

As a youth pastor students will occasionally come to me and share how it makes them feel when their parents fight. Usually it goes like this: ” I just want my parents to quit fighting”. Students will LISTEN to what you say but they will LEARN from what you do (FEEL FREE TO TWEET THAT :)). As a parent will you teach you students how to deal with confrontation in a healthy manner? Will you set an example for them how to fight fair so one day when they get married they will “figure it out”. In a relationship you take two completely different upbringings and lifestyles and slam them together. Friction is bound to happen. Its not that fights are bad its how we fight that is bad. I want to take the next few mins to discuss how to have a fair fight.

  • No finger pointing- Don’t use you always or you never. It’s our typical go to response my wife and I catch ourselves using this word and we have to stop and rephrase what we were trying to say. You always do that…or I do this for you and you NEVER do that for me. When you use you always or you never you are placing blame on the other person. Rather than saying you always/you never try:  when you do ____ it makes me feel ______. 
  • Don’t swear– when you drop and f-bomb or start swearing it is easy to become defensive in an argument.
  • Let the other person finish their sentence. It is easy to want to defend ourselves in the middle of their sentence.. Let them finish hear them out. Actually listen to them and have a conversation! When you cut someone off it easily escalates and people start talking over each other
  • Sit down as a couple and define your rules to fighting fair. One of the first things my wife and I did when we got married was lay down rules for how do we have a fair fight so we are both on the same page.
  • Timing is everything– When he gets off work and walks through the door. Probably not the best time to bring up something. Give him 30 minutes to unwind then bring it up. If your partner is tired or like me gets hangry (anger from being hungry) get them a snickers and let it kick in. Also if you are a person who gets hangry communicate to the person I need something to eat and we can talk about this or sorry I was so harsh I just need to get food. Timing is everything when it comes to having a fair fight.
  • Finish the fight– If it gets intense it’s ok to step away for a minute to cool down but don’t sweep it under the rug. Don’t storm out of the house or peel out of the driveway. Stay and finish the fight.
  • Pick your battles– You turn the fan on he turns the fan off…you get mad. Is it something to get mad about? There are certain things that you go to battle on…other things just let it go don’t be so controlling and hypersensitive. If it were another person that turned the fan off you do you think you would have reacted the way you did? Why is it easy to be hypersensitive towards those we care most about? Pick your battles.
  • Remind each other you are on the SAME team. Too many couples fight against each other when they should be on the same team fight for each other. If you’re in the middle of a conversation and they are getting defensive remind them “I am on your team”

I hope you find this short list helpful. Whether it’s an ah-ha moment or a just good reminder. Either way I hope you set a good example for your student on how to have a fair fight. Fight fair your students future relationship will thank you. If you would like to talk more about this topic feel free to contact me 🙂 – Nate

Does Your Teen Feel Loved?



I recently had a student tell me that if i wanted to learn spanish i should watch Dora the explorer. It got me thinking cartoons back in the day had some significant teaching lessons. Like Winnie the Pooh. When Piglet says How do you spell love? and Pooh responds you dont spell it. You feel it. Each one of us have the desire to feel loved. I find it funny that just because we say I love you to someone doesn’t always mean that they will feel loved. If I sat down with your student and asked them “Do you feel like your parents love you?” What do you think their response would be?

Have you ever stopped to think about what makes us feel loved? In the book The 5 love languages by Gary Chapman he talks about how there are 5 different ways that people feel loved. Physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gift giving and receiving. Let me give you a few examples of each one:

Physical Touch– When you walk by and pat them on the back, wrestle with them, hug them, run your hands thru their hair, when they are sitting at the table and you place your hands on their shoulder and look over shoulder.

Acts of Service- Filling their car with gas, helping them chores, helping on a school project, help clean out their car or clean their room with them, help them with laundry.

Words of Affirmation- After sporting event say i am proud of you, tell them they look sharp/handsome/beautiful, write a note in the lunch, leave them stick notes with encouraging words on them, shoot them an encouraging text.

Gift Giving- You buy them a Starbucks and surprise them with it,  you order a pizza and drop it off at school for them, you go on a business a trip and pick them up something small and fun.

Quality Time- You take them to a Seahawks game, you set aside a time during the week where you guys hang out, you spend time doing something they like playing catch or hiking, take them on a short rode trip for the day, hang out watch a movie.

Love languages are like gas tanks. Each one of us needs our gas tank filled up and each one of us is fueled in different ways. More often than not we show others we love them by the way we want to feel loved.  Do you know your students love language? What makes your student feel most loved? If you don’t know don’t worry…this is why we are talking about it here. I would encourage you to have them take the assessment found here Love Language Assessment or just watch and see how the show love to you and others around them.  This is even a great teaching moment for future relationships and when they are looking to get married. Teaching your student to think what makes their spouse feel most loved. Hope this thougth shed some insight into maybe what you can do to best show love to your student.


Is Your Student Ready For College???


With high school graduation right around the corner I thought this was very fitting! No one wants to have a failure to launch, a student that graduates and lives at home til they are in their mid 30’s playing video games and still asking mom to do their laundry.  Soon as a students senior year hits they get bombarded with the same question from everyone what are your plans after high school and what do you plan to do with your life? The general next step is to push them into college.  A question most people never stop to ask is my student ready for college? We figure if they can fill out and application and get accepted then they are ready! Here is an article that I came across the other day that I wanted to pass on to you that has some great food for thought on this topic. Click Here
ready for college