I’ve been contemplating a lot about teenagers. One of the things I love most about having my own business, is being able to be there for my nearly 16 year old son – more than I’ve ever been there after school etc, for most of his life!
Our house seems to be the gathering house, the place where everyone pops in at all hours of the day and night, a place where they gather before and after school.
The gift of this time with James, and his friends, has been to really understand and appreciate teenagers and where they are at, what their challenges are, how understood (or not) they really feel.
What has struck me is how many people label teenagers as bad, party going, drug smoking, alcohol drinking.
So there’s a few in the media that this represents – personally, I don’t pay much attention at all to the media!
My experience of these teenagers is one of delight! They are interesting, they are intelligent, they are fun. Some of them just want to be listened to, they want to be understood, they want to be heard. They wanted to be treated like the young adults they are!
Eoin and I took four of these precious beings into Brisbane last Friday – it was so much fun! We had a couple of things to do, and in between these things, we shopped, we chatted, we told jokes. We even went to the cool car shops and saw Ferraris, Maseratis, Bentleys, Audis, Lamborghinis! That was fun!
So I have a couple of questions. How often do we take time to really meet teenagers? Do you share your hopes and dreams with them? Do you inspire them to discover and realise their hopes and dreams? How are you with them?
I remember vividly, how I was treated as a teenager – didn’t feel like I could have an opinion about anything, was always being told what to do and what not to do. No-one seemed to really talk to me, apart from friends. I wonder sometimes, and dream, about how it could have been different…
So here’s another question – are you being a great role model for teenagers?
I feel so blessed to say YES to this question. I love talking and sharing with teenagers, I really love meeting them at a deep level, I love chatting with them, I love explaining different perspectives on things, I love talking to them about their hopes and dreams, inspiring them, encouraging them.
Teenagers are the future of our world – make a choice, next time you connect with a teenager, to respect them, to really meet them, to commit to endeavouring to understand them.