"Understanding Our Youth Today"
UNDERSTANDING OUR YOUTH TODAY Looking into the important role of parents and church in the life of teens today and how they influence their future Prepared By Reverend Leo Duites Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 The Irreplaceable Parent The parents serve at least three important functions in the life of maturing teens. 1. Parents provide a laboratory in which teens learn how to make and live with responsible decisions – this process best occurs in an atmosphere of grace and support. 2. The teenager’s family serves as a testing ground for interpersonal skills – an arena where they can learn ways to relate to people effectively. 3. The family helps teens identify with a set of values - to develop and refine their moral consciences. The Youth Worker’s Side In partnership with parents, they provide a broader understanding of young people. They are able to relay necessary information because: • They talk to the youth directly. • They see and understand youth culture. • They are often allowed by the teens to step into their private world - a side which parents may never know. There they reveal their doubts, concerns, worries, hopes and fears. The Parent’s Side Parents on the other hand know their children in the context of everyday life which church people seldom see. 1. Parents will always love their children more than other people in church. 2. Parents can balance the influence of the church. 3. Parents can offer a broader perspective of the teen’s growth – educational progress, their ability to play a constructive and cooperative role in the family, the status of their physical well being. Parents and Youth Workers They can help youth by being: 1. COMMENTATOR – giving scriptural teaching and describing problems from a distance 2. DICTATOR – threatening youth with Bible passages guaranteed to scare them into loving and communicating with their parents 3.FACILITATOR – one who opens lines of communication and does whatever possible to assist parent and teens understand each other What youths really need 1. A HAPPY HOME not success in academics or business or career…all these are only secondary. Young women – 90% Young men – 82% Children from broken homes believe their parents did not try enough. The greatest security of a young person comes from the love of parents for each other – they serve as a model of lasting relationships. 2. AFFECTION the need to be loved, received and accepted Youth today turn to sex because they lack secure affection. They want to get hugged, touched – but because they are frustrated, they can only run to other peers, they end up having sex. 3. INTIMACY Young people who have never experienced intimacy in the family enter relationships that end up in heartaches. They ask, ‘Is there something more than love and sex?’. YES!! Intimacy!! One youth described intimacy as “a place where its safe to be real” Young people want intimacy more than anything else. Premarital sex has become a substitute to intimacy and affection. However, most youth today profess that they enjoy being kissed, hugged, touched, being close and having meaningful conversations with the people they love more than sex. The culture of two working parents has resulted in adolescents hungry for conversation, guidance and direction. This desire to establish intimacy with parents and family has lead to frustration. Youth today seek it someplace else looking for somebody who will respect them as an individual. Sad to say, they mistake it for sex. What happens next? Here are the results when youths have a broken self image: 1. GUILT 2. LONELINESS 3. DEPRESSION 4. ISOLATION 5. ANGER 6. INABILITY TO TRUST 7. LACK OF DIRECTION 8. INABILITY TO LOVE The Old Testament gives us a look at the role of parenting. Moses taught family matters to the people of Israel. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking to them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them at the doorframes of your houses so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give to your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:19-21 End of Presentation Understanding Youth Today Reverend Leo Duites