Ask any teenager what is important to them. They will probably answer: popularity, friends, and Facebook in that order. In the paper recently I read where a father paid his teenage daughter $250 to stop using Facebook for the summer. Interesting that we’ve sunk to using bribery to motivate our children’s behavior. Although, it does work. It also takes away the pleasure of achieving personal worthwhile goals for the right reason.
Youth are so Inexperienced. If you can remember when you were a teenager, it might be fun to list some of the things you thought you understood at that point. I remember being devastated because I was so skinny. As if that was really important to my well-being. Now I’d love to be skinny. I also had a wart on my elbow which necessitated that I wear a long sleeve blouse or sweater daily to school to cover it. The teen years are a time of trying to find your self by fitting in with the crowd. Hopefully, you pick the right group of friends.
I went through a period in Junior College trying to fit in with the wrong crowd. Friends who didn’t have the same values as I did. Going to their activities was not a smart move for me as an inexperienced teen. It was an eye opener and eventually I got back on the right track, headed in a more positive direction. It’s important to carefully choose the friends you get involved with at any age.
So what is important? Now after years of experience, I realize it’s finding your voice: the unique person you can be, developing your talents and following the guidance or loving parents and inspired leaders to keep you on track. In Junior College, I joined a religious sorority which surrounded me with individuals that had high moral standards and pointed me towards continuing my studies at BYU where I would find ME!
As I see my grandchildren struggle with temptations and issues of low self worth. I want to make them realize how precious this time as a teenager is. How easy it is to fall off the path into depression or even suicide. I can’t force them to see my viewpoint, but can only listen and love them. I’ve written my life story and hopefully sharing with them my experiences as a teen will help them. NEXT TIME: Be an Example