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Worship the King. Grow the Kingdom
No. 1 struggle of a teenager

As a Youth Pastor I have seen a lot of teens come and go with many problems, some to do with life choices, their boyfriend/girlfriend problems or even parental problems. I thought I’d share with you the top 3 problems we face as youth leaders and how you can help, and each week we reveal a struggle that youth face.

First things first, I’ve seen so many parents who put huge amounts of pressure on their teens and then undermine their opinions or choices. Now this sounds harsh, but a lot of the time it’s done in subtle ways.

The "living in my shoes" parent

Most parents (without them knowing) subconsciously try to live the life they never could through their children and teenagers. Whether it’s putting immense pressure on marks or even on sports, parents without them knowing always want the best for their teens, but almost never voice this without putting on the guilt trip. Parents are under A LOT of pressure and there is probably nothing worse than an ungrateful teenager who takes your hard work for granted, however… shouting at them about how grateful they should be… will NOT make them more grateful, just saying. And please let me voice this here:

TEENAGERS DON'T STUDY ON FRIDAYS

Your teens whether you think they deserve it or not, need a break. There are two benefits for giving them Fridays or even Saturdays off:

    1. They will feel empowered and trusted (This will cover the “being treated like a child”
    2. They will most likely work harder during the week if that is their incentive given to them
    3. Teenagers are exhausted so a break will do their minds, souls and hearts some good.

Now this sounds awesome!! BUT… This is important… where you let them go will either make or break their future. Ever hear the quote: “show me your friends and I will show you your future”? Well the Bible has some amazing wisdom…

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Proverbs 13:20

Who they hang around with is vital so sending them to a Youth on Fridays or even encouraging them to invite their friends over (this allows you – for those worried parents – to keep an eye on your teens).

Last thing – a loving word goes a long way. PLEASE to all the parents – encouraging your teens are important!! In today’s world with technology and social media teens crave affirmation and love more often, 3 times a week or even daily. They want to feel safe and loved and nothing dims this more than a parent who yells and shouts about marks and sports. Help your teen, try and communicate your love and support – And where you can guide them in all their choices, but do not dictate rather have an open conversation with your teen.

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