Being a teenager is hard. They need our help!
Do you remember those teenage years? We do too! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone, but Teen Life exists to equip, encourage and empower teenagers to live life better. Get involved in one of the following ways:
Why Support Groups?
We believe that Support Groups offer teenagers a safe place to ask questions, receive the emotional support they need, and develop healthy peer and mentor relationships.
If these support groups do not exist, teenagers are going to continue to fall between the cracks. Instead of complaining about the current state of our culture, let’s encourage, equip and empower this next generation to make better choices.
# of students helped during 2017-2018 school year
# of trained Teen Life facilitators
We were so thankful to have Teen Life available to meet with our students. With more demands on the school counselor’s time, it is great to have a reliable option for help with our students. We are already thinking about how we want to use TL next year.Dawson MS Counselor
It has been a great blessing to walk beside these kids on their turf, to equip them with some tools to help break the generational cycles of self-esteem, relationship, and spiritual poverty, and to assist them in casting a vision on where they want to be and how they might get there.Jacob
YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!
This week, my 5-year old son John came down the hall and introduced himself as “Kevin.” When I turned around from washing dishes, I realized he was wearing goggles- Minion goggles from his Kevin costume. For the next hour, he only answered to “Kevin” and ignored anyone who called him by his actual name. We all had several good laughs when someone inadvertently called him by his true name, causing much playful indignation. Masks. Designed for fun. Designed for camouflage. Designed for protection. Designed to make a statement. Worn by people of all ages and stages. Unlike my 5-year-old, too often the students we work with wear masks for protection and/or camouflage. They are anxious about being seen for who they really are.read more
I originally wrote this post two years ago with 3 conversation starters, but I want to revisit and add a couple of conversations that I believe will be helpful. So buckle up, school is here!
It is that back-to-school time of the year again! I can hear the cheers and tears from the Teen Life office. Whether you are looking forward to getting back to a routine, wondering how your baby has grown into a high school senior, or are trying to figure out how your youth ministry is going to hold up against football season – you have a role to play in this upcoming school year! Before teenagers start back at their middle or high schools, or the graduates leave home to start their college adventures, take time to have bold, encouraging conversations!read more
Working for Teen Life the past seven years has afforded me the opportunity to walk the halls of many schools across our area. Every campus has a look and feel – even a smell! Some come equipped with the latest technology and new carpet while others seem to barely keep the lights on. These campuses are the epicenter of everything – education, culture, social life, development, relationships – all of it. Think about it – in our ever-fracturing society where everything is done online, the public school is the one place where ideas are exchanged and problems are solved – face to face. What used to be done in houses of worship and other public spaces can really only be found in public schools. And the reason for this is why I am endlessly fascinated with public schools especially – there is no requirement for entry.read more
Citizenship. For some, the word invokes images of Boy Scouts saying the pledge of allegiance or students volunteering at the library. Most of us would define the word by a reference to service of some kind. Many of us older adults mourn the loss of citizenship among our students. Many think of citizenship as a product of a bygone era, no longer possible or practical among our digital generation of teens. My son has been learning about citizenship in his martial arts class. In each class, there is a simple lesson geared toward the 3 to 5 year-old students about picking up trash, saying hi to a new student in class, helping an elderly person who lives in your neighborhood, opening doors for others, etc. As I listened to his instructor, I realized that while the stated character trait was citizenship, it was ultimately about community.read more
In this final episode of the Teen Life Podcast’s series on the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, the Teen Life staff is talking about the role of adults in teenagers’ lives. Adults have a great responsibility when it comes to raising and encouraging teenagers. We wanted to take a look at the adult relationships in 13 Reasons Why, both good and bad, to discuss what we can learn. The Teen Life Podcast wants to equip adults to better help teenagers, and this conversation is a great resource! In this episode, we are talking about parents, counselors, school, divorce, and the reason teenagers don’t always trust adults. Are you an adult connected to a teen? Are you unsure of what to say or how to help? Join our conversation about the role of adults – we can be an incredible resource for our students!read more
Saying nice things to teenagers is easy…following through is the hard part! Recently I went to lunch with a teen who talked about the power of following through. In the midst of loss, she needed people who would actually show up. Who would stop right there and pray for her. Who would send follow-up texts telling her they were thinking of her. Who would ask about lunch and make it happen. She said the nice things people said meant nothing if they weren’t backed by actions. I have a confession. I am guilty of this. But we can change that! We can be better, more supportive, and more invested. Here are three easy ways to follow through and mean it.read more