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Recently, we had the opportunity to take our kids tubing.

It was a gorgeous day, and a late summer celebration before the start of school. My children are young adults, and the times that we can all be together in that kind of reckless abandon are fewer than they used to be. When it was my son’s turn on the tube, I watched as he attempted a stand-up stunt, showed off with moments of no hands and wowed us with speed jumps and runs in and out of the challenging wake.

As my husband captained wheel and speed, I watched for thumb directions and studied the tow rope. A line of connection to trust and hold onto, while new and inspired life challenge can happen at a healthy distance.

And I thought in that moment….

That’s where I aspire to be. It’s who I aspire to be as a parent. A safe, consistent and encouraging point of reference.

So, in this season of young adulting, I will continue to ‘check in’ with a thumbs up or a thumbs down to ask the questions, “Is any part of your world moving too fast?” and “Is anything in your wake a threat to your best ride? “ and, probably most importantly, “Do you know today, that I am for you?”

For me, maintaining trusted and open communication means checking in, being natural with the tough stuff, allowing safe distance, speaking support and keeping my eye on that tow rope.

AmyJo Pleune, MSW

Director of Church Engagement


Healthy conversations with your teen: 


Blog Goal:The Talk With Your Teen blog encourages and equips Christian parents to have consistent, open, and meaningful conversations with their teenagers about relational and sexual health.


About us: This blog is hosted by The Joshua Center from Positive Options. The Joshua Center exists to mobilize the body of Christ to embody the Gospel as we build a culture of life in West Michigan.


Parenting teens can be challenging. We offer Biblically based social and sexual health workshops that help ground teens in God's truth and authority as they navigate a hypersexual and rapidly evolving culture focused on individualism and self-gratification. Talk with your Teen articles expand and build on these trainings by encouraging and equipping Christian parents to have ongoing conversations with their teens regarding sensitive cultural issues. For more information about our workshops, for both teens and their parents, please email

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