“A child with a dream, is a child with a Future.” – Wintley Phipps
“Simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.”
Teenagers face real problems on a daily basis during the most awkward growth stages of their lives. During this time, teens are exposed to some overwhelming external and internal struggles.
I spend most of my days with teenagers and see the struggles and challenges they face today. From trying to find who they are to fitting in and feeling part of something. Some come from loving, caring families and others have never known what it is to feel love. Teenagers whose parents want only a better life and more opportunities than they had, send them away to another country, in the hopes that they will achieve this. However, they are left alone, perhaps not even knowing the language and being guided by strangers or not at all.
We as parents only want the best for our children, however sometimes our wanting the best takes away from the dreams of our kids. We take our dreams and put them on our own. Our children were given to us to guide, not to mold into what we want them to be, but rather be allowed to become self-actualized individuals. Knowing this is not an easy task. As parents and teachers we feel we know what’s best, but in fact for some, we are not hearing their voice, their dreams and their wishes.
I had to endure my teenage years without parents. At the age of 14, I became an orphan. From a loving family to now having to figure most of it out on my own. I was given the gift of a solid foundation early in life, which gave me the tools and strength to move through even the most challenging situations in my teen years and later in life. At times as a teenager, I felt extremely alone and that no one had the time to listen, let alone hear. I yearned for that someone who could hear me and validate what I was feeling.
I feel today we need to address the needs of our teens and focus on their skill building, character building and dream building. In the schools today I respectfully appreciate the tasks of teacher’s and the overwhelming change in our society and what they deal with. However, although change faces are teens today with many challenges, we must ask ourselves have we changed to fit the needs of our children, especially our teens? After all, they are the future, shouldn’t we be preparing them for what lies ahead.
Today most teenagers deal with so much more, from social media, drugs, alcohol, foster care, one parent, no parents, incarcerated parents to the pressures of high school which has now been crammed from 5 years into 4 years. I feel where missing what they need most, to be heard, understood and respected in the lives that face them today. It’s a sign of the times and they are being hit the hardest with uncertainty and the pressures of our fast pace, over stimulated very confusing environment.
“I promised myself and that of teens, that when I became an adult, I would be a voice for them, knowing what it felt like to be in their shoes”
I think our teens can teach us something. We are heading into a new dimension, one that will fill all our lives with a variety of circumstances and cultural differences. I watch the many teens today who don’t seem to have any difficulty with cultural intertwine in their own daily lives both in and out of their learning environments and as adults, we need to follow. We have to remember that this world was gifted to us all. We own “Nothing”, but share it all. Let us empower our children through our words. A negative report always spreads faster than a positive report. Be positive or be quiet. Bless their lives. Your words will become their reality.
My hope is that I can give to the teens today guidance, mentoring and coach them to be everything that they desire. To have a knowing deep within, that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard enough and take action to achieve it. To encourage, empower and speak words of wisdom over their lives and that they know, they can transcend their circumstances. This is my soul’s calling.
Out of the mouth of a teen: http://yorkcountypa.gov/images/pdf/human-services/EssayWinner.pdf
Lots of Love
Peace of I