Ten minutes a day for 30 days can strengthen the relationship between a parent and their teenager. Just ask Dr. Richard Ross and Dr. Gus Reyes. They have authored a phone app called 30 Days: Parents and Teens. The app is available in English and Spanish.
Ross reports: “Most parents and teenagers already have drifted so far apart that they just don’t know what to do to fix it. Fortunately, biblical counselors and family life leaders have known for some time what words and experiences have the most powerful potential for rebuilding warmth. The key has been placing all those rich insights in the hands of parents and teenagers.”
The Biblical Solution:
God desires to turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents (Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:17). The heart connection between parent and child mirrors the connection between Father God and His children. Most biblical counselors believe this family connection is primarily composed of unfailing love, biblical significance, and true security.
The 30 Days Experience:
- To experience 30 Days, one parent and one teenager commit to spending ten minutes together each evening for thirty evenings.
- The parent and teenager go to a quiet room and pull chairs near each other.
- They open the 30 Days phone app for that night and then see the instructions for that session. Some screens are for the teenager, and some are for the parent.
- By following the instructions in the app, the parent and teenager say and do those things that have the most potential to turn their hearts toward each other.
- Some evenings are marked by laughter and some by tears. Some words bring blessing and affirmation, and some bring forgiveness and healing. One night leads a lost family member toward salvation. Every night prompts prayer in creative and meaningful ways.
A Proven Process:
When 30 Days was published in book form, thousands of families gladly paid about $20 for the experience. But by moving to a phone app, the cost now is below $3. A side benefit is that teenagers think using their phones to connect with a parent is cool.
Reports from Families:
Strong families report this process has taken their relationships to the next level. Weak families report relationships have been restored, and life won’t be the same. Best of all, when the heart connection is restored, then teaching and modeling again have an impact.
South Carolina Dad – “My son and I went through a very difficult time this year. 30 Days brought us closer together. To see him getting ready for our time, even making sure he told me not to forget, makes my heart sing with joy. Praise God and the 30 Days process.”
Daughter — “Me and my father have a background of tension around each other. These meetings that we have had for the past 30 Days have allowed us to be totally open with each other and not worry about the responses coming from the other. It’s easier to open up to him now, and I am happy that we did this. To anybody who wants to improve their relationship with their dad, I recommend it.”
Karen (Mom) — “My son and I have only two days left of our 30 Days. It has been an incredible experience; eye-opening, tear-jerking, heart-tugging, and heart-warming all at the same time.”
Kevin (Teenager) — “During our 30 Days, one night my mom told me all the things she likes about me. The next day I was put down by some guys at my school. But I could take it better after hearing the good things my mother said to me.”
Instructions for Church Leaders:
- To mobilize many families, enlist two or three families to begin the 30 Days experience. Choose families who can impact other teenagers and parents.
- Then, plan your church’s largest-ever gathering of parents and teenagers for about thirty days later.
- At that gathering, allow the families that have been through 30 Days to tell their stories.
- Then, invite all the families to download the app and begin a 30 Days experience together that evening.