One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from one of my best friends regarding marriage. This one stuck in my memory for some reason I can’t explain. The advice was prompted by some of my anxieties revolving around leaving the “single life” – something at which I had become adept by virtue of the many years of practice. I was obviously excited about marrying the girl who had become my best friend in life, but I wasn’t really sure what it was going to be like sharing a life with someone else. The thing is, when we do something new, old things have to pass away. This is a really hard truth as revealed by the millions of broken “resolutions” we find scattered amongst the first few months of the year.
I had a conversation the other day with a good friend who was talking about an example of middle school students who needed an adult to “hammer them”. That didn’t mean berate or mistreat them but rather let them know that their actions were not acceptable and that they could be punished for the way they were talking and acting. Too often adults think that being permissable is the way to let kids know you trust them. There’s just one problem, they aren’t trustworthy. That prompted me to think about things that we as adults need to shift in the way we interact with teenagers.
Graduation. A wedding. Marriage. An AWESOME new job. Life is full of exciting twists and turns, and during this time of transition, I am honored to partner with Teen Life in a Communications role. For those of you who do not know what Teen Life is, let me enlighten you! Teen Life is a non-profit organization who seeks out teens where they are, in the schools. Through support groups and monthly meetings for teen parents, Teen Life is doing things that many churches are not able to do because of their unique relationship with the area schools.
I wrote this post a little over three years ago for my personal blog. I am actually laughing at how much has changed in that short time. Not only has my family grown, but Teen Life has grown and changed just as much!
Doesn’t it seem like the world is literally falling apart? Hurricanes. Wildfires. Earthquakes. Nuclear war. Political upheaval. Racial tensions. We live in what seems like really strange times. I’ve heard it said over and over again that we live in a time unlike any other – that things have never been worse than they are now. And the evidence we see on the news and social media would seem to back that up. But, there is a problem we need to acknowledge before we sign off on these times being the worst ever.
All the news about the storms reminded me about something we talk about in our Facilitator Training as we explain what is happening at the core of what we do. In a very different way we all face storms in our life. Teenagers are especially susceptible to intense, potentially life changing storms. These life interruptions can make or break a teenager and their future. A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on the specifics about how we can think about this considering how buffalo and cattle handle the storms that blow over the Rockies. Today though I wanted to take this idea further. The 5 parts to facing a storm in life are foundational principles that will help any teenager form a perspective that will give them the courage to face the challenges they encounter.
When tragedy strikes, everyone wants to help. This is admirable and well-intended. But what happens when our help is not helpful? What if helping gives us more peace of mind than it gives the victims relief? With Hurricane Harvey wrecking the coast of Texas, this idea has hit a little closer to home. It got me thinking about how we can really help in this situation or any other disaster that arises. I believe that everyone truly wants to help. They have the best intensions to make a difference and improve others’ circumstances. Maybe we just don’t know where to start! Hopefully these three principles will help you help others better.
I realize when this blog is posted our recent solar eclipse will be a far distant memory – seemingly gone as quickly as the event itself.. Me, having not planned well and not desiring vision loss briefly walked outside, noticed how dim it was in the middle afternoon, honestly got a little freaked out, and went back inside to my air conditioning.. This is not to reduce the genuine interest people had in this event with some traveling across the nation to crowd into a 70-mile wide swath of land from Oregon to South Carolina – or watching the event streaming online for the entire day.
School is about to start! Some of you are jumping for joy, and others are trying to figure out how to delay that inevitable day a little longer.
As the year starts, I hope that you are able to find a sense of why school is worth your time and effort. Don’t worry, I remember not wanting to go back too. Since then, I have learned a lot about the importance of prioritizing learning and have even begun the habit of reading multiple books at the same time.
This summer has brought some changes for our family. Huge change in fact in the form of a precious little boy named Sawyer. Having a baby and spending time at home this summer with him has completely changed my perspective. People expect you to take off from work, forget about house chores and just spend time with your sweet little one. So much importance is placed on enjoying and getting to know your baby – as it should be! But why does this only apply when our children are infants? Even though I am a rookie mom and newbie parent, I think there are several baby-parenting tactics that we should apply to parenting teens. They may be half-grown and independent (or so they think), but these teenage years are so critical for their development and your family!
This week’s post is another repost chosen by me, Maddi, also known as the intern. I chose this post because instead of urging parents to limit the amount of technology their children are getting, which I agree with, Ricky simply does the opposite. It’s important to understand how most teens are communicating with their peers in order to understand how to communicate with them yourselves. All our lives would be much easier if we simply made an effort to understand one another, including this. Technology is something that isn’t going to go away any time soon, and it’s only getting easier to access for younger generations. Take a look at Ricky’s tips on how to become more comfortable with the technological world growing around us.