Sherri wrote a blog about what's wrong with our teen not long ago. She wrote about the trauma that our teens have been exposed to in their lives: 9/11, economic stressors, no guarantee of a job even with higher education. All of these extreme stressors have had an impact on our teens and young adults and how they view their future - and how they view the world now. The world no longer seems like a safe and secure place and there are no guarantees of working hard will help shape your future. Or is it?
As parents our primary job is to care for our children and prepare them to be able to care for themselves. Do you feel frustrated that you cannot guarantee your teen a secure future? I hear many parents state this every day. So we are giving our teens a message that the future is so uncertain that work and education will not give them a guarantee of a stable life. The reality is that those factors have never given anyone a guarantee of a stable life.
Our media has not helped this process by constantly bombarding our teens through television, music, movies about the difficulties of making it in the world. The nightly news is enough to discourage most teens from even thinking of doing their homework - why bother in a world that appears to be falling apart.
So maybe the very thing that is wrong with our teens is that we have not taught them the realities of how to approach their lives. We alternate between sheltering our teens from information and giving them other messages that they can't be successful - because of the times in which they live.
We need to rethink how we approach our teens. While our teens are under our roof, we need to help them learn basic skills but also work with them about how they can position themselves with a skill or education that they enjoy and that is needed in our society. Yes, there are no guarantees, but we can approach this process with a positive but realistic attitude with our teens.