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!

Did You Hear What Your Student Just Said

Early on in youth ministry I learned a valuable lesson. Not every moment was a teaching moment.  I had a student that was a constant talker (hence why she was nicknamed chatty).  One day I realized  in the middle of our conversation I would always have an answer for her problems (usually revolving around parents, friends, or boys) but she wasn’t coming to me looking for answers. The reason she would come and talk is because she just needed someone to listen. As adults it is easy to go into parenting mode and have an answer for everything. One commonality that I find with all the students that I’ve worked with is they just want to be heard. Why do you think they go on social media and post things like “worst day ever!!!” or “I feel so alone.” They want someone to listen to them. Just because someone hears you doesn’t mean they are listening. Your child wants to know that you are listening to them.  What is your student really saying??? If I were to ask them do you feel like your parents listen to you how do you think they respond? James 1:19 says we should be Quick to listen and SLOW to speak.

Here are some signs that you are not listening to your student:

  • You catch yourself having to give and answer or response to the first statement they make.
  • You are distracted while your student is trying to talk to you. Ex.) looking at your phone, watching tv, looking up things on the internet, trying to make dinner.
  • You ask how their day was then you continue talking and don’t give them a chance to even respond.
  • Your forget what they just said soon as the conversation is over.

Here are some signs that you are listening:

  • You listen without interrupting your student. You don’t have to have all the answers, prescribe them something, fix their problems ect.
  • You ask specific follow up questions in the conversation.
  • Even if you are in the middle of something you stop and give them your full attention or communicate to them after you finish (fill in the blank) they have your full attention.
  • You are able to bring up past conversations doing follow up asking how things are still going.
  •  You are empathetic- you put yourself in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective.  You consider how they are feeling, how they see things, what they are experiencing.

Focus on your conversations over the next week and ask am I listening to what my student is saying?

Social Media and Your Students Safety

Social media is something that our generation never grew up with! If you wanted to keep in touch with someone you would have to have a long distance phone plan or use snail mail. The internet and smart phones have changed everything. I recently came across this video on Youtube that shows the dangers of social media with this generation. A guy created a fake Facebook profile and added a few teens to demonstrate to the teens parents how easy it was to get the teens to meet up with him.  Here is the video if you want to check it out:  I know your first thought that would never be my teen!!! Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We live in a world where you can find out pretty easily where people work, where they have been, who their friends are, what they like. I have been thinking a lot about smart phones, technology, the internet, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder. Our students are facing things that we NEVER had to deal with growing up. So i want to take a few minutes to ask a few questions to get you thinking about social media and your students:

  • What are the boundaries that you laid have when it comes to social media and your students? EX.) Can you check their phone at anytime you want? Do you have access to their social media accounts? Can you open any Snapchat that you want when you want? (If you don’t know what Snapchat is you should probably look into it: pics that delete in 10 sec or less) Do they have to be friends with you on social media in order to have an account? Do they have to be a certain age to get a social media account?
  • Do you have a social media account that you can add them/follow them to see what they are posting, what their friends are posting on your students page?
  • Have you talked with them about being aware of who they add as a friend or who they allow to follow them?
  • Do they understand they can change privacy settings to allow only certain people to see information and that it isn’t available to anyone who googles you?
  • When you take pics make sure to turn the location off on the photo so someone can’t track down where you took the photo ex.) at your house!
  • Do you have on going conversations with your student(s) about social media and internet safety?

I just wanted to get you thinking about social media and the safety of your student. If you would like to kick around ideas or continue this conversation feel free to contact me 🙂

-Pastor Nate

Tips For Getting Your Student To Do Homework


It is that time of year again as summer is winding down and school is about to start. One of the major frustrations that you as a parent might have during the school is how do I get my student to do their homework? Let’s be honest most students would be A and B students if they just applied themselves a little bit and did their homework which makes up a major part of their grade. So this tool is some thoughts of how to help your teen do homework this up and coming school year.

  • Set a designated homework time/discuss time management- It doesn’t have to be right when they walk thru the door and their brains are fried. They might need some time to unwind and then hit the books. Having a structured time will help them get into a routine rather than getting side tracked. This is a great time to talk to them about time management and how to use their time effectively. Alot of times  a student may get home eat a snack take a nap, play video games, hangout with friends, maybe they are involved with sports…this is a great opportunity to discuss time management and help get them to schedule their time so they use it effectively.
  • Set a designated homework space- It can be not motivating to do homework when you don’t have a place to do it. I know that if i were to do homework in a bedroom my bed would seem more motivating than doing homework. Having a designated place allows us to categorize that its time to do homework. At my house we created an office and put a white board up for creative moments and to write down what needs to be done.
  • Put away all electronics/social media Nothing is more distracting than having your phone buzzing from a text message while you are trying to get your homework done. Not only that it is extremely difficult to get homework done especially if you are using the internet and your social media feed is blowing up or people are instant messaging you or you scroll to someones profile and next thing you know you’re Facebook stalking and not getting homework done.
  • Be involved with your students homework– If they are getting frustrated sit down and talk about what makes them frustrated. if they are having a hard time with it work thru the problem with them but don’t do the homework for them. This can be a great opportunity for you to talk and teach them about problem solving and dealing with frustrations. If they are having a hard time and the homework is too advanced for you, help them problem solve what teacher and time could they go to for help and maybe even tutoring. My mom set expectations for me and I knew that she wouldn’t allow certain grades and that she had high expectations. She constantly pushed me and was involved with my homework. It communicated that if it was important to her it needed to be important to me, even if i didn’t see why it was important in the moment.
  • Use incentives- I know this can be controversial but hey let’s face it we all have incentives. Why do you go to work??? Because you know you’ll get paid. It is hard for a student to want to do homework when they dont get paid for doing it because a letter in the alphabet. So why not reward them with something time with friends or getting to go do something or if they keep their grades up for half a year or whole year a trip somewhere. You have to know what motivates your student. Some students are naturally motivated and what to do homework and get good grades other might take an incentive. Just a thought… 🙂

Would love to hear what are some other tips and things that have worked for you when it comes to getting your student to do homework.

Summer Calendar

In case you are not signed up for the Point Break parent emails. Here is the summer line up for all the fun to be had at Point Break. By the way if you are not signed up for parent emails you can do that right now by scrolling down to the post that says Parent Email! Summer CalendarINSTA

Using Social Media To Strengthen Family Bonds

If you’re a parent you probably don’t get the whole social media craze! Isn’t it funny how kids will post something on the internet for their digital friends rather than talk about it in person with real friends? Your kid probably has or knows about Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr or some blogging platform and uses these regularly. I believe social media if done correctly can enhance community. So I wanted to share and article that I came across from Fuller Youth Institute that talks about how to use social media to strengthen family bonds. I wanted to pass it on to you.  Click the picture below to take you to the article. I hope this sparks some ideas for you parents on connecting with your kids!