“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments that you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”

-Henry Drummond

Click to Tweet

As a youth speaker for middle and high school kids, I’ve gotten to meet A LOT of people over the years. And one of my favorite humans is Devon Werkheiser. When we are together we gel in such a way that it is always a non-stop laugh-fest!

Devon is the man. And besides our inability to control our laughter when we are together, the thing that makes Devon so special to me is his huge heart!

You probably know Devon as the star of Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide on Nickelodeon. He had a great run on Ned’s and continues to act today in big roles alongside some of today’s biggest stars in movies and on TV.

What is really cool, is how Devon is using his platform and love for art and music to make an impact on young people. His passion is contagious and if he wanted he could be one of the top motivational speakers for youth!

He had a few tweet-worthy soundbytes:

“Young people need to realize it’s okay to be sad. That’s part of the process & it makes you appreciate the good times so much more.”

-Devon Werkheiser

Click to Tweet

“We all have baggage. Own your baggage. That’s what makes you YOU!”

-Devon Werkheiser

Click to Tweet

I might have to bring Devon on my next tour. We actually discussed that and some of our crazy trips together across the world in depth.

To follow Devon Werkheiser, click here.

In the full episode, you will learn:

  • Why the best choice is always love
  • How gratitude will change your life
  • Why pursuing your dreams early is big
  • Speaking your goals into existence
  • Great advice for teenagers

In this blog, we’ll translate some of Devon’s key insights into practical advice for parents navigating the challenging but rewarding journey of raising teenagers. From embracing emotional honesty to recognizing the unique challenges of today’s youth, let’s explore how to apply Devon’s approach to parenting.

Emotional Honesty in Parenting

In a world where teens are often pressured to present a polished version of themselves, fostering an environment where emotional honesty is valued is crucial. This approach encourages open communication and builds trust, essential foundations in any parent-teen relationship.

Understanding Emotional Honesty

Emotional honesty involves being open about one’s feelings and experiences, even when they are complex or difficult. For teenagers, learning to express their true emotions can be a powerful step towards self-awareness and maturity.

Encouraging Emotional Honesty in Teens

Parents can play a significant role in encouraging their teens to be emotionally honest by:

  • Modeling the Behavior: Demonstrate emotional honesty in your own interactions. Let your teen see you expressing a range of emotions in a healthy way.
  • Creating a Safe Space: Ensure your home is a safe space where emotions can be expressed without fear of judgment or repercussions. This means actively listening to your teen and validating their feelings.
  • Avoiding Immediate Solutions: Resist the urge to fix everything. Sometimes, teens just need to be heard and understood, not immediately directed to solutions.
  • Discussing Emotional Health: Regularly discuss the importance of emotional health with your teen, making it clear that all emotions are valid and there’s no shame in expressing them.

Benefits of Emotional Honesty

  1. Stronger Relationships: Emotional honesty helps to deepen the bond between parents and teens, fostering a more authentic and supportive relationship.
  2. Improved Mental Health: By encouraging teens to express their feelings openly, parents can help prevent the internalization of stress and anxiety, which can lead to mental health issues.
  3. Better Problem Solving: When teens feel comfortable expressing their emotions, they are more likely to seek help and discuss solutions to problems they are facing.

Handling Teen Challenges: Practical Strategies for Parents

Parenting teenagers involves navigating a unique set of challenges, from academic pressure and social dynamics to emotional fluctuations. Here are practical strategies parents can use to help their teens manage these challenges:

Open Communication

Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial. Regular check-ins can help parents stay informed about their teen’s life and provide opportunities to offer support.

  • Scheduled Check-ins: Establish regular times to discuss how things are going, whether daily or weekly, ensuring these conversations happen even when life gets busy.
  • Active Listening: Focus on listening more than speaking. Show empathy and try to understand their perspective without quickly jumping to conclusions or solutions.

Establishing Boundaries and Expectations

Clear boundaries and expectations create a structured environment where teens can thrive.

  • Consistent Rules: Establish and maintain clear rules that are fair and consistently applied. This helps teens understand what is expected of them and the consequences of their actions.
  • Empowering Choices: Whenever possible, involve your teen in setting these boundaries and expectations. This inclusion can help them feel respected and more invested in adhering to the agreed-upon rules.

Supporting Independence

As teenagers push for more independence, finding the right balance between oversight and freedom is essential.

  • Gradual Responsibility: Increase responsibilities gradually to build their confidence and decision-making skills.
  • Safe Exploration: Provide opportunities for them to explore their interests and make decisions within the safety of established boundaries. This can include choosing extracurricular activities, managing a budget, or making plans with friends under agreed-upon conditions.

Encouraging Problem Solving

Teach teens how to approach problems constructively, which is a critical skill for their current and future challenges.

  • Guidance Over Solutions: Instead of solving problems for them, guide them through the process of finding solutions. Ask questions that encourage critical thinking and consider different outcomes.
  • Model Problem-Solving: Demonstrate how you approach problems in your own life, including discussing your thought process and the steps you take to resolve issues.

Addressing Emotional and Social Issues

Teen years are often turbulent emotionally and socially. Providing support in these areas is vital.

  • Emotional Support: Be there to support them through emotional ups and downs. Offer comfort and understanding, especially during tough times.
  • Social Skills Coaching: Help them develop healthy social skills by discussing scenarios they encounter, offering advice on handling social situations, and modeling positive interactions.

Conclusion: Navigating Teen Challenges with Guidance from Devon Werkheiser

Reflecting on our conversation with Devon Werkheiser and the practical strategies outlined for parenting teenagers, it’s clear that guiding a teen through these formative years requires a balanced approach of support, communication, and understanding.

Insights from Devon Werkheiser

Devon Werkheiser’s experiences and the wisdom he shared underscore the importance of understanding and adapting to the unique challenges faced by today’s youth. His approach to life, filled with humor and sincerity, provides a valuable perspective for both teens and parents navigating these often turbulent years.

Empowering Parents

As we close this discussion:

  • Foster Open Communication: Continue to nurture an environment where your teen feels safe to express themselves and share their struggles without fear of judgment.
  • Support Independence While Setting Boundaries: Help your teen grow into a responsible adult by supporting their independence with appropriate boundaries, which provides them with a safe framework within which to explore and learn.
  • Be a Role Model: Demonstrate the behaviors you wish to see in your teen, from how you manage stress and conflict to how you pursue your own goals and relationships.
  • Stay Engaged: Remain actively involved in your teen’s life, showing interest in their activities and being present during both the highs and the lows.

Final Thoughts

Parenting a teenager can be as challenging as it is rewarding, but with the right tools and mindset, it can also be an incredible journey of growth for both parent and child. Devon’s insights and our discussion today provide a roadmap for building strong, resilient, and capable young adults.

Thank you for joining us in exploring these vital life lessons with Devon Werkheiser. Let’s continue to guide, support, and learn from our teens as they navigate this important stage of their lives.


Have you ordered your copy of ‘Among The Giants’ yet? Get your copy by clicking !