It was literally overnight when the whole world was shaken! For teens everywhere, what was, isn’t anymore; what should be, ceases to exist; and just like that, our “New Norm” welcomed uninvited! What is this and who gave it permission to happen? Schools closed, no sports to watch, no teams to be a part of, no friends, no activities, just me, myself and I. This is definitely new to all of us and we don’t know when it will end, or even if it will. This is definitely a New Norm and one we have to adjust to quickly! So what are we going to do?
What Can I Do
The teens we’ve been keeping busy “doing” are now idle. So now what? Encourage them to take the extra time out of school to do something productive. Me myself and I; what can I do? First thing, is to be knowledgeable and aware of what this pandemic is and follow the CDC guidelines to protect yourself from it. Then find a way to serve. There’s something about giving to others and making their day that helps you to view things in a different light. For us, serving others has always been a way to relieve some of the pressure of everyday situations and refocus on something positive in spite of what’s going on around you. Here’s a few small ideas that can make a BIG difference in someone’s life…..
- Do some lawn work
- Wash your parents car
- prepare dinner for the family
- Check on your friend ….. facetime or Duo to see a smiling face.
- Text everybody you know
- Learn a hobby
- Read a good book
- Be creative and “think outside the box” Feel free to make your own list and share it with others and on your social sites but just remember to give and expect nothing in return. It can be challenging to readjust to what has now become a new way of being but you got this!
While this is a big deal and a lot of people are overcome with fear, it’s important for us to look to God and find out what He wants us to understand while in the midst of all this? No matter what happens during this pandemic, stand by those you care about. They need you and you need them. Remember to maximize every moment and create all the memories you can. For those we know who don’t have the luxury of a loving family and a safe home, reach out to them. Sometimes the simplest of things can remind them that somebody truly cares.
Oftentimes we get so caught up in life and what is going on with ourselves, that we cast others problems to the side and deem them as insignificant. Especially if those people are our younger counterparts; kids, teens, little sisters or brothers. We have this mindset that they don’t have “real world problems” because they are younger than us. Yes, life adds on added responsibilities and harder decision making as you get older but we still can’t forget the problems and stress that we faced when we were their age. Everybody has things that they are facing, whether it be mentally, physically or spiritually. We have to be sensitive to that truth as we guide our youth. We have to take steps to have better and more open communication with the youth of today. The now generation has so much access to the world. Everything is literally at their fingertips. As an adult, sometimes I have no idea how to process all of the information that our phones and the internet allows us to have access to. It was even worse when I was younger. The internet is presenting teens with all of these different ways that the world wants them to be, classmates are taking different paths and trying to pull them along, adults aren’t really listening to the things that are bothering them because they see it as unimportant, and on top of that teens are trying to figure out the kind of man/woman that they need to be to navigate through all of these decisions. Sound familiar? We all know that it can be mentally exhausting and draining. It can make teens feel like they have no real outlet, and that the people they are closest to have no idea what they’re going through. This may push them to try to release their frustrations in so many different ways that don’t work and won’t fulfill them. We owe it to them and ourselves to be an outlet and to show them and help them develop a relationship with God so that He can always be their outlet. I completely understand how busy we can make ourselves and the excuses that we use when we don’t have time to impart in our youth the way that we should. Trying to build or hold down a stable household is something that doesn’t always come easy, it’s understandable. But trying to balance school, extracurricular activities, peer influence, chores, babysitting younger siblings, social life, and online influences isn’t an easy task either. I challenge all adults reading this to take time out of their day to just talk to the younger people that you have access to. Reach out to them, let them vent, let them talk, let them do whatever they feel they need to do in a safe, open, loving and nonjudgmental environment. You’ll be surprised at how much your kids, siblings, family friends, etc actually want to open up to someone. Be the light that you want them to be. Connect and guide them the way that you wish you had been guided. It all has to start somewhere. We must be the change that we want to see in the world and in our youth. So I challenge you,today and everyday, to strive to be that change.
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