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Raising Teens With Enduring Faith

My guest post on Bible Gateway’s blog begins this way:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

As our teens grow up and head out to college, one of our most pressing concerns is about their faith. We’ve heard about the party scene, the atheistic professors, the pressure to fit in and make new friends. Maybe we’ve known a student who has lost the way. It’s only natural to wonder, Will our teens’ faith be strong enough to withstand the tests of college?

Read the rest.

Student Loans Entice Borrowers More for Cash Than a Degree

Fascinating WSJ article on a disturbing trend: “Some Americans caught in the weak job market are lining up for federal student aid, not for education that boosts their employment prospects but for the chance to take out low-cost loans, sometimes with little intention of getting a degree.”

Read the whole thing.

HT: Wintery Knight

What’s Wrong With Buying Your Way Onto the Bestseller List?

Great post by Jared Wilson.

1. It’s dishonest.

2. It’s egocentric and lazy.

3. It may eventually harm your reputation and will bug you in the long run.

4. It’s poor stewardship and bad strategy.

5. It disadvantages those actually gifted.

Read his post for explanations.

And these, my friends, are the reasons that I have foregone this great temptation.  But hey, it’s only Wednesday! There is still time for YOU to help Preparing Your Teens For College make a best-seller list the honest way. Pick up a copy today!

HT: Justin Taylor

Interview with Douglas Bond on Preparing Your Teens for College

Douglas Bond is an author of 25 books, a teacher at a Christian high school, and a tour guide. He asked me some questions about Preparing Your Teens for College, and I’m posting a portion of our interaction here with his permission (with a generalized answer about my kids).

What prompted you to write your newest release, Preparing Your Teens for College? Were you seeing specific problems and issues among young people coming from Christian homes at the university you teach at? What were some of those?

More people than ever are going to college today, as we’re fast becoming a skill- and knowledge-based economy. Between 1973 and 2007, 63 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy, while the number of jobs held by people with only a high school degree fell by about two million. Not only is there a growing need for a post-secondary credential of some sort, the earnings premium for those who hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree over those who don’t continues to grow each year. It pays to have a college degree—literally.

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Hope and Help for Depressed Teens

From my friend David Murray, author of Christians Get Depressed Too:

The New “Son of God” Movie

Here’s the trailer:


Should we go see it? Continue Reading…

Interview by Matt Mitchell on Preparing Your Teens for College

Matt: Who should read this book and why? Obviously, it’s written specifically for parents. What kind of parents did you have in mind? What if we don’t think our teens will attend college? Should we still read it? Should our teens read it, too? What makes it different from other books out there about preparing for college?

Alex: I wrote this book for all kinds of parents—those whose children have near-perfect SAT (or ACT) scores and those who don’t know the SAT or ACT from ABC, NBC, and CBS. The truth is that all our teens face tremendous challenges when it comes to entering adulthood. Aside from the moral and spiritual challenges (which I also discuss), the link between higher education and professional success has never been stronger, and college has never been more expensive, yet too many of our children are starting but never finishing. About 45 percent of those who enter a four-year college will not graduate in six years. And about 70 percent of those who start out at a two-year college don’t complete a degree in three years.

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Helping Teens Rebut Relativism

Good time this morning on the Bob Dutko show. Great question from Bob on how to train teens to not buy into spiritual relativism. I think one of the big fears that makes church-raised teens fall for this is the fear of being considered a bigot (intolerant, narrow-minded, arrogant). In fact, it’s more humble to come under the authority of what God has revealed. And believing in exclusive, objective truth doesn’t make you intolerant–you can (and should) treat with respect and kindness those with other beliefs. But merely thinking others are wrong doesn’t make you intolerant or arrogant.

Leadership Journal Interview on Preparing Your Teens for College

In an interview for Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal, Daniel Darling (VP of Communications, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) asked me these questions:

1) When we think of “preparing our kids for college” we often think through the actual academic preparation. But do parents think through the spiritual preparation?

2) Seems the church does a good job telling teens about following Christ, but not so well in helping them flesh out what that calling might look like. How can we be better at this?

3) In your experience, what do incoming freshmen seem to lack the most?

4) In your view, what is the single most important thing a parent can do to prepare their kids for college?

5) If you could speak to a high-school freshman, what would you tell them to do in the next four years to prepare themselves for college?

Check out my responses.

Is Your Child Prepared to Major in a STEM Field?

Fascinating post by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on the popularity of STEM majors and the importance of preparation for success in them.  The 2013 report she cites notes the need for students to “understand what takes place in a specific major or occupation.” When they do, the report shows, their ACT scores rise, which implies better preparation for the rigors of college and a greater likelihood of success in a family of majors with a higher than average attrition rate.

Like I explained in Chapter 9 of Preparing Your Teens for Collegewe need to help more HS students understand what’s required for success in the fields they’re considering as possible college majors (not just in STEM). That will decrease the likelihood of their changing majors, increase the four-year graduation rate (currently below 50 percent), and lower their total college tuition.

Continue Reading…

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