***This giveaway is closed.  Congratulations to Tina H! ***

YTNC Final CoverMy friend Jerusha Clark has written a new book with her husband Jeramy that will help you understand your teen and parent smarter.

Does that sound too good to be true?  

I asked Jerusha to answer the question:

Is It Possible to Have Teenagers and a Happy Home?  

(I know some of you may wonder!)

Here’s what Jerusha said:

Ten years ago, my husband and I received some extremely bad news: the puddle of water I found in front of our dishwasher came, not from a malfunctioning appliance, but from a leak in the foundation of our house. Five months of demolition, redesign, and renovation meant I was doing dishes in the bathtub, trying to navigate dust and debris that seemed to multiply by the hour, and mediating near-constant tensions betwixt family members. My friends, this was not the happiest time of my life.

IMG_7761Those of you who’ve done a remodel will likely agree with me: renovating ain’t for the faint of heart!

Renovations almost always cost more than you think they should, take more time than you planned for, and require more of you than you’re happy to give. Despite the grief, humans continue to remodel things. Why?

Because it’s so worth the effort!

On the other side, you get to enjoy a space more beautiful, more functional, and/or more efficient than before.

It’s kind of like raising teenagers. No, really, it actually is!

According to neuroscientists, the human brain undergoes heavy construction between the ages of twelve and twenty-five. Teenagers experience what researchers call “a progressive and wholesale remodeling of the brain.” God ordained that two dramatic and important things happen during this remodel. If you want to increase the happiness in your home and decrease your frustration with teens, remember…

#1 – It’s the Ultimate Use it or Lose It Proposition.

The first radical transformation that occurs in your teen’s brain involves neural pruning. Unused neural pathways are trimmed away as the adolescent brain prepares to mature and specialize. To help teens during this time, we can expose them to lots of new and different things.

Take them to a concert or an exhibition, buy them a book about something in which they’ve expressed interest, try a different kind of cuisine together. Even if they complain a bit at first, the truth is that teenagers are hungry for experience; you can deliberately make happy memories by experiencing things together.

#2 – Take Advantage of the Window of Opportunity.

Myelination is the second significant process God designed for the adolescent brain. One of my favorite neuroscientists likens this to the teenage mind shifting from dial-up to broadband Internet access. As myelin coats the brain’s neural “wiring,” adolescents can process information quicker and more efficiently than ever. This also helps teens to integrate their emotions and thoughts.

My friends, this process won’t be complete until roughly 25 years of age, so it’s essential that we have patience with our under-construction teens! Like any remodel, this can end with a more functional, beautiful, and integrated space on the other side. We get to choose how the process goes, however.

If we view the teenage years primarily as one, protracted hassle, we won’t make the most of these days (see Ephesians 5:16). Happiness during the teen years is possible, but it starts with you! It comes from understanding what’s going on in your adolescent and making necessary changes in yourself.

This is an age of tremendous opportunity. Don’t waste it!


To win the book Your Teenager is Not Crazy, just leave a comment here.  You can simply comment “Yes, I need help!” or you can comment on the particular behavior that makes you think your teen is crazy!  A winner will be chosen on Monday. 

For more practical tips, find other terrific resources by visiting Jerusha & Jeramy Clark’s website.  


Arlene Pellicane

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