Raising Christian Teens.



by Derek & Michelle Brooks

Chapter 3: Understanding Each Other

Q: Sometimes I think my teens live in another world. I don't know why they act the way they do. Is it because they don't like me? Why are they upset when I ask them to help around the house? I really need their help. Can't they see that?

Editor's note: Sometimes it's hard for us to understand what our teens are going through. As parents, we tend to look at how their behavior affects us, but we do not always realize the turmoil, the confusion, the questions that they often try to deal with on their own. The following heartcry of a young teen gives some insight into how some young people feel, which can help us understand them and learn how to relate to them.

Absorbed in our own tribulations and problems, we adults too often forget that youth is a jarring time, full of excruciating first experiences and full-blown tragedies. It is a pimple on the cheek which everyone will see; it is the clothes which never seem to fit a gangly body; it is the ultimate disappointment, a broken promise by a parent. It is a training ground for adulthood, a place and time to try for independence, a place and time to try and fail and succeed. --Anonymous

The heartcry of a young teen
Dear God, can You help me? Can anybody help me? What's happening to me? I don't understand. Everything is so difficult, and I'm so, so down. I don't understand these things going on inside of me--all these feelings I get, and so many emotions. This pressure is too much. All these hassles!

No matter how hard I try to do my best, it's just not good enough. Sometimes I just don't know how I can please Mom any more--she expects such perfection. I really don't want to complain, but I just feel like hired help sometimes.

Does anyone care about me? I sure could use some love and appreciation instead of getting all this flak, and people always getting on my case. I know I blow it, but how can I change? I'm so confused and wrapped up in such a tangled mess. I try to please my parents and I try to please my friends, but I don't do good at either. Nothing seems to work and I always seem to mess up. I'm always botching things and getting another lecture.

I'm in a hole and I can't get out, no matter how hard I try. Besides, what's the use?--Everybody's got me so labeled anyhow. It seems like all the bad kids are the ones that get all the attention. Maybe that's the way to go. It's so hard to be good.

I really don't like just doing nothing. When I get away and blast out my music on my headphones--well, at least I can forget about everything for a few short moments that way. The only thing is, I still feel so, so empty inside. I feel so bad.

I wish I could talk to somebody about these problems, but who would ever understand? Or who's got the time? I feel so confused, like a real misfit. What's happening to me? I'm so confused. I feel so lonely. Is this growing up? All these things I feel and these changes in my body--it's freaky, and scary, too. Does anybody understand how I feel? Who can help me? Does anybody have the time?

Sometimes I want to fly away! But, really, deep inside, I want to do something with my life. It just seems so hard. I want to make a difference, I just don't know how.

I need help! I feel like I have so much inside of me, but nobody will listen. There are so many things I want to do--places to go and see, people to meet, things to experience. Isn't there somebody that can help me through all this? I feel I need someone to guide me.

I must be doing something wrong, but what is it? Who can help me? Why do I feel like this? Is it because You don't love me as much as You love others? God, I'm scared. The world is scary, and everything looks so difficult. What's gonna become of me?

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