Your teenager is likely under more pressure than you realize. Think back to when you were their age: staying up late, sick to your stomach because a term paper was due in the morning. Worrying about what to wear, so you fit in with your friend group. But this is nothing compared to what teenagers deal with in this generation. Before we move on, lets be real. This generation of teenagers is not facing the great depression, World War 2, or many of the challenges that generations past have faced but they are facing challenges that previous generations have not encountered. This comes through the challenge of social media.
Social media has created a whole new way to make teenagers feel undervalued, undeserving, and even unacceptable. Back in the day, it was enough to spend six or seven hours a day with a bully at school, but at least teens received a break from it at home. There are no breaks for teenagers these days. Peer pressure, bullies and unkind people follow them everywhere they go. It’s hard to find a teenager that doesn’t seem to have their phone with them at all times. How can parents help teenagers handle the pressure that is often a part of their daily lives?
Above all, let them know that you are for them. You are their biggest cheerleader and their biggest supporter. You will be there when they fail and when they succeed. You will encourage them when they are scared and applaud them when they are confident. Basically, your teenager needs to know that you have their back and that they can trust you to be their safe haven. It won’t always be easy! Teenagers can make some really poor decisions that might make you wonder when their brain decided to take a vacation!
A wise parent once wrote, “Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of healthy self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes in it to drain it dry.”
Once You Have Viewed The Video:
You can probably sense when your teen is under intense pressure. They are short tempered, become angry over nothing, reclusive or even overly emotional. There are a few simple things you can do proactively to help your teen when those feelings of being completely overwhelmed take over. Make sure you communicate to your teen before the pressure sets in that they always have permission to come to you when they are feeling stressed or pressured. Teens need to know that you are a place of unconditional love and safety for them and their emotions. Those emotions can be scary and teens are in the process of learning how to deal with them.
Also, be prepared that there may be times when your teen might need some outside help to learn how to navigate their world. If the pressures are getting to them and you feel you just can’t seem to help your teenager, it is important to find another person they feel they can talk to (This is where the church plays a vital role in your family life). Teens are a mess of emotions and they need to have a healthy way of releasing it. Otherwise, it will release in ways that can affect them physically, emotionally, and mentally.
As you consider this topic of the Pressure to be Perfect this week, remember that supporting your teen doesn’t mean you must completely agree with them or that you should bail them out of natural consequences that result from their own decisions. Any human being feels weaker when they feel alone, but more confident when they know somebody is with them.
Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” You show Christ to your teenager when you let them know they are never alone; you will be with them no matter what. This communicates to your teenager that you value them because of who they are and not because of what they do or don’t do.
We hope this lesson blesses you. Please remember we are an email or text away, and love serving you and your family through prayer.
Your church staff