Emphasizing Relationships with Your Teens, Interview with Connie Albers

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Emphasizing Relationships with Your Teens, Interview with Connie Albers.

Emphasizing Relationships with Your Teens, Interview with Connie Albers. Build relationships over enforcing rules to help your teens fulfill who God made them to be. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #ConnieAlbers #RelationshipsBeforeRules #ParentingTeens

Emphasizing Relationships with Your Teens, Interview with Connie Albers

We are so excited this week to be joined by a special friend, Connie Albers. Connie is a homeschool mom and leader, guest on Focus on the Family and author of a parenting book that we love: Parenting Beyond the Rules: Raising Teens with Confidence and Joy.

As you may have noticed, we 7Sisters do not talk often about parenting philosophies. There are several reasons for this:

  • There’s not one kind of child or teen
  • There’s not one kind of parent
  • There’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of parenting philosophy, in our opinion

The lovely thing about Connie’s book, Parenting Beyond the Rules, is that she is not offering a philosophy, simply a discussion about the necessity of emphasizing relationships when raising teens. When we read her book, we felt like she was reading our thoughts. We 7Sisters have always said what our friend and fellow podcaster, Melanie Wilson at Homeschool Sanity, always says: relationship over rules!

Connie Albers

Connie Albers
Photo used with permission.

So, we asked Connie if she would join us for a discussion about the importance of relationship building with our teens. Join us for an inspiring interview.

Connie homeschooled her five kids through graduation (including several years of having five teens at the same time). Connie found that her teens rarely jumped out of bed happy and chomping at the bit to do their calculus lessons. But, Connie found a few secrets that helped her and her teens through these years:

She found that when you prioritize relationships through coming to know:

  • our teens’ temperament
  • the heart of our teens
  • what’s going on around them
  • then, there is less grumpiness and rebellion!

Emphasizing relationships is not easy. It takes longer to walk along beside teens. Concepts and life in general, is harder for adolescents. Teens often doubt themselves. It is easy for them to think they were standing in the wrong lane when smarts were handed out.

You have the job to discover, develop and cultivate the gifts God has given each teen, so that they can be the person God has made them to be (not to be their brother, or mother, or friend).

You have the job to discover and cultivate the gifts that God has given each teen. Connie Albers shares how to emphasize relationships to develop teens' gifts. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #ConnieAlbers #ParentingTeens #BuildingRelationshipsWithTeens

How can you discover and develop your teen’s gifts? Connie suggests:

  • Observe the little things your teens do
    • Become a student of your teen.
    • Connie kept a notebook on each kid where she jotted down interesting observations. She found that over time, these observations helped her help her kids discover their gifts.
  • Notice what your teen could spend all day (even skip lunch because it is so interesting)
    • What are the paths of their curiosity?
    • What are their interests? Daydreams? Wondering?
  • Plant seeds of possibilities
    • I noticed this about you…
  • Reframe personality glitches, to help them work towards good rather than glitches
    • Words need to fall into a tender place in your teens’ heart
    • Show them the positives and negatives of personality styles
  • Help them find places to use these gifts for God’s glory and relationship building
    • Let them know you believe in them and are encouraging them all
    • This infuses them with determination to dig deeper and build courage

You as a parent, become your teens’ scientist and their guide.

Teen years are sometimes challenging, they are doing the hard job of growing up. #HomeschoolHighSchoolPodcast #ConnieAlbers #ParentingTeens #BuildingRelationshipsWithTeens

Teen years are sometimes challenging. They are trying to push back sometimes because they are doing the hard job of growing up. They are trying to find:

  • When can I assert myself?
  • When can I say something snarky and it not be disrespectful or rude?
  • When can I make my own decision?
  • What will I hear as a result of that decision?

We are archeologists: digging for the treasure in our teens and then polishing it up to help it shine

  • The polishing takes time
  • The polishing takes patience

How do you handle this phase?

  • Keep the end in mind
    • Remember that you are parenting toward the time when they are out of the home and on their own
    • Remember your are not your teens’ best friend.
  • There is a balance of rules they still need and trust them to manage themselves. To keep the balance, we have to master the art of the pivot.
    • Allow them to make some mistakes (blowing an exam because they did not prepare well), then learn from those mistakes.
    • You still have to manage safety.
    • You still have to oversee some self-care.
    • Help them know they are always under some kind of authority, whether it is your or society’s.
  • Remember your calling: Your teens have a calling that you help prepare them for
  • Remember the danger of unbending rules.
    • Establishing relationships means establishing rules that matter,
    • Then begin adjusting or easing off when teens have shown they can manage themselves.
    • Responsible teens have more freedom and thus, more self-government.

These ideas are captured in Connie’s book Parenting Beyond Rules: Raising Teens with Confidence and Joy.

Connie’s purpose in writing her book is to encourage parents to truly enjoy the years with your teens. (They are the best years yet!) It discusses:

  • Casting a vision for your family
  • Understand your teen’s world
  • Understand your teen’s personality
  • Listening to your teen’s words, spoken and silent
  • Monitoring your own mouth
  • Take healthy steps when their is pain or conflict
  • You can be emphasizing relationships during the teen years.

Connie encourages us: Adolescence can be some of the best years, but when the times are painful:

  • You can step back
  • You can listen and be painters of possibilities in our teens’ lives
  • You can remember that they are a masterpiece of God’s making
  • You can be assured that God uses imperfect parents to shape and help teach and train their teens in the way they should go

Connect with Connie at:

Strengthening Families with Connie Albers on FB

And check out this interview with Connie on Focus on the Family.


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Emphasizing Relationships with Your Teens, Interview with Connie Albers

Teaching “Adulting” – MBFLP 234

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.


Studies show that young adults are often not prepared for adult independence. Psychologists say the current generation is growing up slowly, and some even say “Twenty-five is the new fifteen”!* But if our parents and grandparents were functioning adults at 18 or 20, why can’t our kids be the same? This episode we’re talking about how to teach adult skills intentionally to our teenagers – and what to do if they graduated before you were done teaching!

Join us for a free relationship builder!

CLICK HERE for more information!

MBFLP – Teaching Kids Respect and Obedience

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

MBFLP-2015-01-19 Teaching Kids Respect and ObedienceIt’s one of our “frequently asked questions” – How in the world can I get my kids to obey? How do you teach them respect? And it’s not just because obedient kids are agreeable – we know it’s important for their safety, and it’s Biblical. This episode, we talk about how to teach these important traits in a balanced, loving way that adapts to our child’s developing maturity … because our goal is not to raise obedient children, but adults of mature, godly character!

MBFLP – Talking To Your Kids About Sex

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Talking to your kids about sexTalking To Your Kids About Sex

Talking to your kids about sex – you know, “The sex talk!” is something we all try to avoid.  It’s a difficult thing for most parents – gathering the courage to have “The Talk” with our children. In this podcast, we discuss the best ways to talk to your children. Don’t wait until it is too late, be there for your children and be encouraged.

Sex Talk–Why Talking To Your Kids About Sex is Important:

Talking to your kids about fixing their beds, clearing off the dishes, or doing their school work is much preferable than talking to your kid about sex! We try to avoid it at all costs.

Here are some of the common concerns:

  1. Why can’t we just wait until they’re more grown up?
  2. Can’t we shield them from the sexualized culture so they can stay innocent until they’re adults?
  3. How in the world do we even start the conversation?

This episode, Hal talks with Luke Gilkerson, the Educational Resource Director for Covenant Eyes, a ministry dedicated to teaching and protecting a Biblical view of sex, purity, and personal integrity. You won’t want to miss this one!

Please subscribe to this podcast and share it with a friend!


MBFLP – Dealing with Conflict with Tweens and Teens

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

MBFLP Dealing with Conflict in Teens and Tweens


How much anger is “normal” for a pre-teen (or a teen)-aged boy? Is there anything to be done about it, or is the best we can do just to hang on and hope they grow out of it? Actually, with our six sons, we’ve seen our share of hormonally-driven outbursts and rage, and we’ve found out that there are Biblically-sound ways to respond to these challenging days, and even turn them into times for discipleship. Tune in for a half hour that may make a difference in your family for years to come!



Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp [available from Shepherd Press]

The Heart of Anger  by Lou Priolo [available from Grace and Truth Books]

“Boot Camp 9-12” webinar series with Hal and Melanie Young [order from Raising Real Men . com]

MBFLP – Coming of Age Ceremonies

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

MBFLP Coming of Age Ceremonies


Society expects young people are nothing more than hormone-driven slackers who won’t be useful members of society until they’re out of college … if then. That’s not what we find in Scripture, though! If you’re going to encourage your young people to step up to adulthood instead of a teen-culture holding pattern, you might find this episode helpful as we discuss how we mark a formal transition from childhood to young adult status!