For many parents and their teenage children, a shroud of hopelessness seems to hang over them that constantly remind them of unknown dangers that lie ahead. Their lives are way different from ours when we were their ages — 13 years to 19 years. They have come along at a time when life is undoubtedly complex, unforgiving, and brutal and they are expected to cope with life’s confusing world winds of brokenness in every facet of life. Today’s teenagers face challenges unlike any other in previous time. Because the challenges are different, the solutions are nothing that have ever been known in the lives of parents or professionals.
This period is a most awkward time in teenager’s lives. The challenges not only come from pressure from the outside, but they also come from within the inner circles of their lives — home, school, church, and other social places. Beside the outward intrusions they encounter, they are also forced to cope with the confusion of hormonal changes, puberty, parental, school, and work pressures and the lack of moral and spiritual lessons that ought to come from the adults that affect their lives. Hence, teenagers are often overwhelmed and confused as they face unknown and uncertain prospects.
As a parent of teenage children, can you identify with these challenges that your teens face? Are you also frightened when you imagine the uncertain future the lay ahead? Do you know how to instruct your teens as they prepare or fail to prepare for the future? Do you know where you can find help or support? There are many parents who have thrown up their hands in helpless expressions of their inability to deal with these challenges.
One of the bigger problems is the absence of one or more parents in the life of individual teenagers. That absence can have a devastating effect on the child both physically and psychologically. Imagine a teen being with other teens who talk about their parents in their lives if one or both of your parents is absent. Do you know any teens in that situation? Is your teens in that situation and if so, how do you handle it?
The one thing that must be part of any solutions that deal with teenage challenges is the capacity to understand them and to listen to their conversations. Teens need to be encouraged to express how they feel without judgement, put-downs, scolding, verbal abuse (telling them that they are awful, bad, or any such thing). After all, the teens are suffering. They are not acting. What they feel is real and they must be treated with care and understanding. If care is not taken, the consequences may be stress, depression, pregnancy, abuse, or other cruelty.
We have much work to do about the problems of teenagers. Let us begin by encouraging conversation and let us listen, understand, and show love.
Until next time, let’s help our children.
Get help from the numerous ideas in my book: Defeating the Enemy to Your Success — How to Breakthrough to a Life of Wealth Creation and Freedom.