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 Lifeline 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 2015-2016 school year
# of trained Teen Lifeline facilitators
YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!
A couple of weeks ago, we had a huge problem. My son, Sawyer, was refusing to go to sleep at night. Overnight, he went from going to bed in minutes to standing up in his crib, screaming unless he was being held. Until this time, we have been spoiled by his sleeping habits, so when they suddenly changed, I was desperate. After a couple of nights of rocking him every 15 minutes and then eventually crawling in his crib until he fell asleep, I asked for help. I asked good friends, my mom, and even put it out on Instagram to get the advice and wisdom from my fellow mom friends. This is not something I often do, but after all the great wisdom I got, I wondered, “Why don’t I usually ask for advice or help?” Other than your spouse or very best friend, how often do you share trials, struggles and doubts with the people in your circle?read more
Some days ago, I sat with my wife after a frustrating series of events unfolded with my kids where I likely handled things poorly as a dad. As anyone who is a parent can attest to, there are times that you don’t quite line up to where you would like, and those times can draw you into reflection. As we sat, she calmly asked me a series of questions that revealed my frustrations were not at all with my kids, but with some other things that were completely out of my control – and I was likely just taking it out on the kids. Like I said, dad fail. My wife is so good for me because she is willing to sit down after the fact and talk through what happened – kind of like a coach. And when I might get too frustrated or become short with my kids, it is often times because I am not aware of how I am feeling at the moment. Being a parent is hard.read more
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