Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cry of a High Schooler

I have taught around 3,500 kids in the last 5 years and had the honor to mentor many of them.

I cannot think of a single issue that high school students face that I haven't had to deal with to some extent in the course of the ministry that God has placed before me. The bottom line is that our culture is very hard on young people. This evening one of my outstanding students (and an amateur blogger), posted this note to parents and those dealing with young people on his Facebook.

Thank you, Joshua, for this important reminder for us to show love always and to pray for the next generation.


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Excuse me, parents. All of you.

Recent figures indicate that about 20% of college age students here in the US have been diagnosed with depression.[1]

Almost 20% have, in the same vein, considered suicide seriously at some point in their lives.[2]

7.5% have attempted suicide at some point in their lives.[3]

In 2011, 7.2 percent of 8th graders, 17.6 percent of 10th graders, and 22.6 percent of 12th graders used marijuana in the past month, up from 5.7 percent, 14.2 percent, and 18.8 percent in 2007. Daily use has also increased; 6.6 percent of 12th graders now use marijuana every day, compared to 5 percent in the mid-2000s.[4]

Seventeen is the average age at which Americans lose their virginity.[5]

19% of 14-year-olds are 'sexually experienced.'[6]

One in five teenagers has participated in sexting.[7]

Some statistics (unverified) state that 90% of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have seen sexually explicit material online, either intentionally or unintentionally.[8]

Most teenagers in the US have ready access to alcohol.[9]

So what's the point of all this?

Just this: how likely is it that your kid needs more love from you, not more anger? How likely is it that they need to hear a kind word instead of a frustrated shout? How likely is it that they need you to understand their problems, not ignore them?

I'll let you in on something. We're very, very good at hiding our feelings. As teens, we don't trust people who can't understand us, and (almost globally) we don't believe our parents can understand us. QED: We don't trust you. That means we don't tell you everything. Chances are very good that your teen hides things from you. You do not know them as well as you may think.

Remember that. Think before you yell. Review your own childhood - you did the same kinds of things to frustrate your parents; you made the same kinds of mistakes; you have been in those shoes. You should understand.

Your relationship with your child can be a beautiful thing, but that doesn't mean it will be; that doesn't mean it's supposed to be easy. Please, please, please... don't make it harder than it has to be.

Sources:

[1][2][3] http://www.acha-ncha.org/docs/ACHA-NCHA-II_ReferenceGroup_DataReport_Spring2011.pdf
[4] http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends
[5] http://www.newstrategist.com/productdetails/Sex.SamplePgs.pdf
[6] http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/pubs/14summary.pdf
[7] http://web.archive.org/web/20090409071203/http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20090406_Editorial___Sexting__overkill.html
[8] http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php
[9] http://www.epi.umn.edu/alcohol/facts/facthow.shtm

Posted by Jeremiah Lorrig
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