Parenting Beyond The Rules – Raising Teens With Confidence And Joy: Parenting teens can be some of the worst years, but also the most rewarding. How can you raise children with soft hearts into their teens? What about helping them learn to use the talents God has given them? Tune in now to find out more!

Air Date: 03/19/2019

Guest: Connie Albers

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live where we talk about the day’s hottest topics on policy, and faith, and other areas of the culture. But we always do that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional, perspective.

You can find out more about us at WallBuildersLive.com that’s our radio site. That’s where you get a list of our stations across the country where we’re aired. And you can also get into the archives and listen to past WallBuilders Live programs over the last few months.

I encourage you to check out those Good News Friday programs. That’s where we compile a lot of great stories and good news over the past few weeks. Typically only hear the negative news if you’re watching major media or even on your Facebook feed you’re probably getting just negative news. So, be sure and listen to Good News Friday here on WallBuilders Live and it will equip and inspire you, it’ll show you how you can make a difference in the culture. All kinds of great things happening in our nation if  where to look.

And then also you might want to look at those Thursday programs. That’s our Foundations of Freedom Thursday. That’s what we take your questions. In fact, if you’re listening now and you’ve got a question about the Founding Fathers, or the Constitution, or are some of the issues of the day and how to apply the Bible to those issues, or how to look at it from a historical perspective, or what the Constitution says about it. Any those questions, send them into [email protected], [email protected] and we get to as many of those as we can on Thursdays. And then, of course, in the archives section there you can go back and review those Thursday programs.

Lots Of Great Things To Check Out

Rick:

And then Monday through Wednesday we have all kinds of great interviews. So, we get to interview people that are arguing before the Supreme Court, U.S. and state legislators and people that are on the frontlines of the culture, pastors and individuals in their local communities being engaged in what’s happening and just being good citizens, saying, “Hey, what can I do with the freedom I’ve been given to make sure that I’m preserving it for future generations?”

So, if you’ve got freedom, you may not be able to keep it and you certainly won’t pass it to your kids and grandkids, if you don’t participate in it, if you don’t actually use the freedom you’ve been given to protect the system that we have. It’s definitely under attack today. We have seen constitutional liberties and freedoms be removed, be– not just attacked, but actually removed.

There’s a lot of challenges out there, but when we fight back and we actually stand firm, when we peaceably use the tools we’ve been given in the Constitution, we can make a huge difference and preserve that freedom for future generations. So, that’s what we do Monday through Wednesday is we have folks come on the program and talk about how to do that.

If you go to WallBuilders.com– so that’s WallBuildersLive.com. You can get the archives, and you can look at the stations we’re on, and there’s some news feed there and some other good information. But if you go over to our other website, WallBuilders.com, that’s where you get all kinds of great tools, curriculum, DVD sets, books, all kinds of things that will give you the opportunity to really study and understand where we came from as a nation. All of it’s done in a fun entertaining way. We don’t believe in history being boring around here. We believe in bringing history to life.

Become A Student Of History

Rick:

I remember I used to hate history growing up because it was boring in the classroom. David Barton brought it to life for me. Somebody gave me one of his cassette tapes. Now, I’m aging myself there, that was a while back. But someone gave me one of his cassette tapes and all of a sudden he was telling me history through the eyes of the people that lived it. And it came to life and that’s where my journey began in beginning to study, and understand, and love, history, and the Constitution, and freedom, and we challenge you to do the same thing. Become a student of freedom and pass that on to future generations.

And speaking of those future generations, my guest when we come back from the break is going to be talking about how to raise young people that they keep that soft heart, that are still teachable even in the teenage years and that take the talents that God gives them. How do you identify that in your own kids? What do you look for and how do you encourage and inspire them and it not just be something that you’re pushing them a particular direction? She’s just done a fantastic job.

Her name is Connie Albers. And the book is all about parenting beyond the rules. It doesn’t mean you don’t have rules. It means parenting beyond that and finding some great tools for inspiring your own kids to do their part to preserve freedom in future generations.

You’re really going to enjoy this today. Encourage you to get the book and read it. Stay with us. Connie Albers our special guest when we come back on WallBuilders Live.

A Moment From America’s History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In several decisions, over recent years the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to encourage religion.

Did our Founding Fathers agree with this? Consider the words of Henry Lawrence, a signer of the Constitution, and a president of Congress. Henry Lawrence declared, “I had the honor of being one who framed that Constitution, in order effectually to accomplish these great ends set forth in the Constitution. It is especially the duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God and virtue and to discourage every degree of vice and immorality.”

Founding Father Henry Lawrence believed that the goals of the Constitution could not be fulfilled apart from a fear and a respect for God and that it was, therefore, the duty of government to encourage this among the people. For more information on God’s hand in American history. Contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

The Teen Years Aren’t Something To Be Dreaded

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. My good friend, Connie Albers with us. New book out, Parenting Beyond The Rules Raising Teens With Confidence And Joy. That’s the part I want to ask the most about. Connie, hey, thanks for your time. Thanks for coming on.

Connie Albers:

Hey, Rick, it’s awesome to be with you and your audience today.

Rick:

Excited about your new book. You and I have talked about the topics in this book for years, actually, in our interaction at homeschool conventions and other conferences and things. We’ve watched a large percentage of Christian young people walk away from the faith at the college age, or even the high school age, and lamented over that and talked about why and what parents can do in a different way.

You and your husband have seemed to found a great formula for creating joy in your home and yet also getting the tough stuff done. So, I’m thrilled that you are sharing your experiences through the new book and excited about other parents being able to implement that in their home. So, I hope that I’ve got that right in terms of your goal for this as well based on our past conversations.

Connie Albers:

Yes, you do. I was telling somebody the other day – there’s over 63 million teenagers just in the U.S.. And my prayer has been, “God, if we can just reach a percentage of the parents that are influencing and shaping the lives of the teens what a very different culture and country we can have and what an incredible Kingdom impact we could make.” But it first starts with parents understanding that the teen years are not something to be dreaded.

Let’s Jump In With A Tough One

Rick:

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. I think that’s that’s part of our problem. We almost want to tune out during those years instead of looking forward to that development in their lives. And I think part of that, though, is because we’ve seen other families and seen other other young people tune the parents out. Get so– as you talk about the book, get so filled with all the different distractions, the devices, everything else, that mom and dad no longer have their heart. So, they don’t have the influence on their life.

So, let’s jump right into that one because that’s a tough one, I think, is right at the forefront of what people are concerned about, parents are concerned about. How did you keep that relationship and be able to have that positive influence in your kids? You have 5 kids that are all grown now, right?

Connie Albers:

Yes. So, I get to hear the stories of what we did wrong and what we did right.

Rick:

And learn from both.

Connie Albers:

That’s right.

Rick:

And hopefully other people will learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.

Connie Albers:

I know. But the other fun thing is I’ve been able to work with teens for about 20 years now just through various organizations, and Bible studies, and stuff like that that we have been through. So, I took notes. I didn’t–I wasn’t planning it, but I just kept listening to what they were saying was some of the biggest struggles within their house.

When We Start With This Mindset

Connie Albers:

And, obviously, the number one was just the parents not really listening. So, whether that was being present or sometimes we can be so distracted, Rick. It’s busy. Life is busy. And I think we’re busier than in years and decades past.

But going back to the “How do you actually do it it?”, it really starts with the mindset of remembering you are the primary influence in your child’s life. Just flat out don’t let the enemy make you think that you have taken second place to devices, to culture, to peer pressure. Those are all real and you’re experiencing it every day. Peer pressure is real, bullying is real, device issues, technology, distractions – it is real, but when we kind of come at it with the mindset of, “No, I am the primary influence unless I give it away. Unless I abdicate that role.”

And when we start with the mindset of “I am the primary influence”, that means I have to foster this relationship. Because without the relationship I can not maximize the influence that I could possibly have in shaping the heart of the child, of my teenager. Does that make sense?

Rick:

Yeah. Totally. In terms of men in that relationship, and building and maximizing that relationship, give us some of the practical steps you recommend in the book that people can do at home to be building that from a young age, but especially in those tough years.

Connie Albers:

Well, one is you got to start by understanding the world that they live in. It’s a very different culture and a different world. The bullying is quite impactful. The things in a Twitter that can destroy somebody’s reputation, or a simple video that can go viral, that your child’s not even aware of. So, it starts with understanding their world. When they know that you get it, that you really get it, then they’re more apt to kind of open up and confide in you when something goes bad, or wrong, or they get caught in something they shouldn’t have gotten caught in.

Paint A Picture Of Possibilities

Connie Albers:

The other thing is painting a picture of possibilities. Always telling your child what the next season or what the next chapter of life could look like. Give them a picture of that. Walk them through that. Don’t just tell them what they’re doing wrong, or how they need to fix things, but give them a vision of what could be coming forward so that they can walk toward it. As opposed to you dragging them kicking and screaming to do what you want them to do.

I find that when we go to the why, “Why does this matter in your life? Why does it matter to the Lord?”, all of a sudden it has this personal impact in their life. It’s, “Oh, this is my life. It isn’t about you trying to control me.”, which is an illusion anyway. We don’t control our teenagers. So, that is that is two possible things.

The other thing is developing that teen mindset. And I know a lot of people talk about building a team, and how do we build a family team. Well, it starts with three things. One, your children have to know that they belong. There’s not a sense of belonging.

No – your kids have to know they belong in the Rick Green family. Their identity, one, is found in Christ, but on earth their identity is found within the family, within Rick and Kara Green. Those kids, they identify within that family, they belong there, there is a sense of safety, there is a sense of trust, and security.

And the third thing, of course, is safety. That when they break the news that maybe they weren’t so angelic, that mom and dad aren’t going to overreact.

Rick:

Yeah.

Connie Albers:

You’ve probably found that in your own family. Unfortunately, teens do make mistakes and they do stumble into things that maybe we wish they wouldn’t have had. And, unfortunately, with technology so many times it’s caught on video. And a year later it can be shown as a funny joke on an anonymous app and all of a sudden you’re just now hearing about it.

Rick:

Yeah.

Creating The Team Mindset

Connie Albers:

And they’re mortified. So, we want to create that team like mindset. The thing other thing is you’ve got to squash your fears as a parent. We cannot parent from a place of fear or doubt God has clearly given us our kids. He’s given us an instruction manual. He’s given us a guide book and we have to adjust our parenting. You’ve got, what, five children as well?

Rick:

Four. Yeah, four.

Connie Albers:

Four. And then of course you have some that are married. So, I always count those as well. But when you learn to squash that fear and realize that God has given you these children to teach and train, that He has given you the guide in which– and the wisdom, and the discernment, in which to do that, you’re able to step back and say, “No, I will not parent from a place of fear. I will parent from a place of confidence.”

We have to adjust our parenting to fit that child. Just like my– all my five kids are very different. I go from engineers, to artists, to film directors, to hospitality people, and they’re all very different little human beings. So, when we view them as individuals with a unique gift, strength, and talent, and an assignment that God has given only and solely to them, then you and I, we can then parent from a place that helps them to become the person God’s called them to be.

Because there’s not a one size fits all parent. What works with one child certainly isn’t going to work with another child because they’re not an assembly– they’re not like in a factory assembly line. If we do X, Y, Z, and these are all the rules, and you follow the rules, everything’s going to be great. Well, that works with some kids, but as you and I know, rules are just a suggestion for some kids.  

Guiding Without Pushing

Rick:

That’s right.

Connie Albers:

With some of our teenagers, it’s like, “Well, that may sound good, but what if this case and this scenario were to happen?”

Rick:

And they’re not computers. We’re not going to just put a programming language in and get  X, Y, Z, out of that. That’s why I love what you’re talking about in terms of figuring out what their strengths are, their different personality types.

Connie Albers:

Yeah.

Rick:

I have a question for you. And I think you address this, how early do you start looking for their real– what you see as God’s gifts in their life and begin to speak into that? And how do you balance that with what– you describe it as guiding them instead of managing them. So, how do you balance that when you see something in one of your kids and you’re going, “Oh, God’s really blessing that.” And you want to encourage that, but you don’t want them to feel like you’re pushing them in that direction. Does that make sense?

Connie Albers:

Yes. I plant seeds– again, I plant seeds of possibilities and I create defining moments for them. I look for those moments.

So, for instance, when they’re very young, you look at what is it that that child spends hours doing that they would even skip lunch. When you’re calling and saying, “Hey it’s time for lunch”, or, “It’s time for dinner”, and they’re still caught up in that book that they’re reading, or that project that they’re working on, or maybe that game of basketball they’re playing in the front yard. What do they do that they get lost and time just escapes them? They get so caught up–

Each Child Had A Page

Connie Albers:

And I create this little package called * and action, is what we called it. And I would just jot down little things I noticed about them. Who was the first person to the scene of an accident that was quickly saying, “I’m so sorry. Let me help you!” Or, “I know that hurt. Let me let me see how can I help you? How can I help fix it? It’s going to be okay.” Who’s quick to offer a word of encouragement? Literally, Rick, I would just write that down.

As they moved into the double digits, the nine– well, nine’s not a double digit, but ten, eleven, twelve, then I started really zeroing in on what was right with that child. So, often we zero in on what’s wrong with them. Why didn’t– why aren’t they saying “thank you”? Why didn’t they do what I asked them to do the minute I ask them to do it? I start to focus on what is right with them and I jot that down in my notebook as well.

Each child had a page because I needed to take reminded some days, “What is right with you?” “Oh, that’s right, you have an incredible sense of empathy.” Or, “You’re you can always figure out what the problem is and when there’s a situation you can get to the bottom of something quickly.”

So, I start very young just observing. Not really talking about things, but just observing. And then I put an idea or an opportunity before them to see, do they run with it?

Rick:

There you go.

Connie Albers:

Or is it not so much interested? Middle School I focus on, again, giving them ideas, “I notice that you do this quite often. Have you ever thought about how God could use this in your life?”

For example, my daughter’s an artist – “I noticed that you could get really carried away with your art. Have you ever considered maybe pursuing art a little further?” Or my left brain son who became an engineer. Everything, for him, was solvable. There was always a let’s try to figure out how we can fit the the the round peg in a square hole. “Have you ever considered doing this? Math, science, seems to come easy for you.”

Never pushing, never saying, “This is what you’re going to do.” But plant seeds of ideas and then help them foster it by giving them opportunities. Does that make sense?

Get Their Brain Going

Rick:

That is so good. I love that. I love the way you ask the question, “Have you ever considered?” Get their brain going in that direction and it’s very much a– not a, “I see this in you. I think you need to do this.” But instead, a, “Have you ever considered.” And That’s good. That’s good.

Connie Albers:

Yeah.

Rick:

So many good practical ways to do this. Where were you when my kids were three, Connie?

Connie Albers:

Probably practicing.

Rick:

Why didn’t I not have this book in my hands?

Connie Albers:

I was probably trying to see if it all worked out.

Rick:

I just wanted to ask you– you’re traveling and speaking now as well, right? So, if people want to have you in to speak at a conference, or a convention, or a co-op, or whatever it might be, how do they get a hold of you and bring you in?

Where To Follow Connie

Connie Albers:

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Please. They can e-mail me at [email protected] I also have someone that’s working with me on that. So, if they follow up with me and make an inquiry, I may have, I will have my colleague Kate kind of help with me on that.

I am traveling across the country, I’m doing a lot of radio, a lot of on air, different morning shows. I just booked on ABC, a show in another state, just talking about teens and technology. What can we do to help our kids create a positive social footprint so that we don’t lose them in the world of a neutral thing which is technology? How can we help them with that?

For speaking, I love coming in to speak. I’ll be speaking and keynoting in Kansas. I’ll be speaking at the * a conference, I’m their keynote speaker. Several other states across the country. So, I love it. I’m passionate. I really want to help families build closer relationships during the teen years. Because as you and I know, the teen years end and then what are we faced with? We’re faced with our relationship with adult children. And and I know your listeners, and I know you, personally, we want our kids to call us and say, “Hey, mom and dad, you want to go to the movies?

Rick:

Amen.

Connie Albers:

Or, “Can I come over and hang out?”

Rick:

Amen.

Connie Albers:

Not have us say, “Are you coming for Christmas? Are you going to be here for Thanksgiving?” No, we want the opposite.  

So, that’s the whole purpose behind this book is we are doing life together. It’s not just 18 and done. It’s, “Let’s build something bigger and lasting.” Let’s make our impact greater by being the parents that they need and parenting the child that we have, not the one we wish we had. Because they’re all uniquely designed and created by their Creator and we are trusted to train and teach them in the way that they should go. And that’s the calling, that’s the assignment, God has given us.

Connie 20 Promo!

Rick:

I love it. I love it. So good. I’m so excited about the impact this is going to have on this generation of parents that are hungry for this kind of advice to, Connie. I know you’ve had that kind of response already, but they’re looking for answers, they want the very results you just described, they’re watching  families around them not have that. And they’re saying, “What can I do to get a different result?”

And I just don’t encourage parents to always be hungry to learn on this stuff. Most of us– some did or didn’t have parents that modeled this well. But we should always want to improve and learn golden nuggets of things to do and and implement in our homes. So, I just love the fact you’re putting this out and I really want encourage parents to get it, study it.

Now, the paperback is going to be available– what’s the date the release date?

Connie Albers:

The release date is April 2nd. It’s going to be in bookstores pretty much everywhere – Barnes and Noble, Target, Amazon, Books a Million – pretty much anywhere where they sell books it will be on the shelves and available online. So, we’re pretty excited.

Today actually starts a Connie 20 promo deal through  NavPress and that’s where they get an additional 20 percent off 20 percent. So, it’s a great deal if they want to go ahead and preorder or preorder on Amazon. Again, there 63 million and I want people to get this vision in their mind what an impact we can make if we are faithful with our children, and we tell our friends and family, and our friends and family tell their friends and family, Rick, just think about the impact we could have–

Rick:

Amen.

When We All Lock Arms

Connie Albers:

–in our culture, in our country, and for the kingdom. So, I just have to tell you, you’ve been a huge supporter all these years. I am grateful for that and I’m so thankful for the ministry that God has given you and the impact that you make with Patriot Academy and with the WallBuilders radio broadcast. It’s just amazing watching how God has used you and your message.

And I think when we all lock arms we are making a difference, and we’re in our lane, we’re running our race, and we’re encouraging one another to equip parents to be the parents God called them to be.

Rick:

Amen. Parenting Beyond The Rules Raising Teens With Confidence And Joy, Connie Albers. The website – you can go straight to ConnieAlbers.com is where you can read Connie’s blog, book her in to speak, and then you can preorder the book at Amazon, and at NavPress, and multiple other places. All those links available right there at ConnieAlbers.com.

Connie, God bless you. Thank you for writing the book. I encourage parents to get it, implement it, study it. Get those golden nuggets out of there, and don’t be afraid to change them, and to modify some of your parenting style. We should always be trying to get better and there’s some great, great, advice in this book.

Connie Albers, appreciate you. God bless you. Keep up the great work.

Connie Albers:

Thanks, Rick, so much, and God bless you as well. Thanks for having me on.

Rick:

We’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Red, White, Blue, and Green

Hey friends, a special event is coming to you. It’s called Red, White, Blue, and Green, it’s a stage show. It’s our opportunity to bring history to life, to bring the Constitution to life, to equip and inspire you and your family, and the people at your church and in your community, to get involved and do more. To be given true action steps on what you can do right there in your backyard to preserve freedom for future generations.

It’s going to be a fun evening. We’re going to laugh and learn together and get educated. There’s gonna’ be lots of great music, and presentations, and inspirational stories. It’s called Red, White, Blue, and Green. You can make it happen right there in your hometown. We’re gonna be filming live in Thousand Oaks, California, on the evening of March 23rd, and streaming it all across the nation.

You can be the one to bring it into your community by streaming it to your church, or in your home, or even just watch it individually if you like. Go to ConstitutionCoach.com today and you’ll find out more. ConstitutionCoach.com. The event is on March 23rd. We’re hoping you’ll participate with us and help us restore America’s Constitution.

Be Like The Founders

Rick:

Thanks for stay with us today on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Connie Albers for being our special guest today. We’ll have a link to her book today. Encourage you to get that whatever the age of your children. And beginning that all those things she talked about in that relationship that’s so important for them to remain teachable, and to hear the counsel, and seek the counsel, of those that God has put in authority in their lives. Just a great book and some wonderful golden nuggets in there that I know you’re going to be able to use.

We really appreciate you being a listener and a supporter of WallBuilders Live. As I mention every once in a while on the program, this is a listener supported program. So, without you, without the support and the donations of our listeners, this program doesn’t happen. Right now we are able to reach so many people across the nation and around the world with this good news, with these tools, with the truth of our founding, and the tools and the knowledge, and the inspiration, necessary to save the freedom that we’ve been able to enjoy. We’re able to do that because people donate to the program.

So, takes dollars, it takes revenue, to be able to put this program out there and to do the training that we do. We train pastors, we take them to Washington D.C. and give them a chance to go through an incredible tour there with us. We do training for legislators across the country. Also, young people. So, there’s a lot going on that you don’t necessarily see or hear so much about on the program. A lot of things happening to really do our part to save freedom, and preserve it, and pass it to the next generation.

And you can be part of that. Being like the Founders giving of your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor. And the fortune part, yes, means making a contribution.

So, I’m asking you to go to WallBuildersLive.com today, click on that donate button, and just think about what you can do as a one time donation. It might be five dollars, it might be five hundred dollars, might be 5000 dollars, whatever you can do. And then maybe consider even being a monthly donor, maybe giving up one cup of coffee a month and making that five dollar donation a month, or whatever makes sense for your budget.

We sure appreciate your support. Thanks for helping us spread the good news. And thank you for listening to WallBuilders Live.