THIS is what you have to look forward to, kids. A life of a worn-out body, drugs, alcohol, bitterness, resentment, anger, and rebellion. Teenage and young adulthood will be awful just check out this road-map to adolescence from Psychology Today: (which is copied and pasted word-for-word…This article was NOT changed by me.)
Early Adolescence (ages 9-13):
Stage One: LETTING Childhood GO.Early Adolescence (around ages 9–13) problems are characterized by:
Personal disorganization increases as more messiness, forgetfulness, distractability, inattention, and losing things begins. Now the self-management structure that fit childhood becomes inadequate to effectively cope with the more psychologicaly and socially complex adolescent eperience.
A negative attitude—increased dissatisfaction from no longer being content to be defined and be treated as a child, less interested in traditional childhood activities and more boredom and restlessness from not knowing what to do, carrying a grievance about unfair demands and limits on personal freedom that adults in life impose.
Active and passive resistance—more questioning of authority, arguing with rules, delaying compliance with parental requests, letting fulfillment of normal home and school responsibilities go (chores and homework let slide.)
Early experimentation—testing limits to see what can be gotten away with, including such activities as shoplifting, vandalizing, prank calls, and the beginning of substance experimentation.
For parents, this stage is when behavior seems to undergo a change for the worse, so their challenge is to insist on responsible behavior while maintaining a positive connection to the young person during a more negative time.
Mid-Adolescence (ages 13-15):
Stage Two: FORMING A FAMILY OF FRIENDS.
Mid Adolescence (around ages 13–15) problems are characterized by:
More intense conflict over social freedom with parents, particularly the freedom to be with friends.
More lying to escape consequences from wrongdoing or to get to do what has been forbidden. (More deceptive communication with parents.)
More peer pressure to go along with adventures and risk taking in order to belong, including more pressure to use substances to be accepted.
For parents, this stage is when the young person has become ruled by the need for immediate gratification and social belonging with peers, so their challenge is to take hard stands for his best interests against what the young person wants, generating more conflict in the process.
Late Adolescence (ages 15-18):
Stage Three: ACTING MORE GROWN UP.
Late Adolescence (around ages 15–18) problems are characterized by:
More independence from doing grown-up activities—part time employment, driving a car, dating, sexual experience,and recreational substance use at social gatherings.
More significant emotional (and often sexual) involvement in romantic relationships.
More grief over the graduation separation from old friends (and perhaps leaving family) and more anxiety at the unreadiness to undertake more worldly independence.
For parents, this stage is when the young person pushes for adult freedoms that can be dangerous to manage, so their challenge is to insist on adequate communication so they can inform understanding and inist on commensurate responsibility.
Trial Independence (ages 18-23):
Stage Four: STEPPING OFF ON ONE’S OWN.
Trial Independence (around ages 18–23) problems are characterized by:
Lower self-esteem from not being able to adequately support all the demands and keep all the commitments of adult responsibility.
Increased anxiety from not having a clear sense of direction in life or the self-discipline to consistently pursue it if they do.
High distraction from a cohort of peers who are slipping and sliding and confused about direction too, partying more to deny problems or escape responsibility, as the stage of highest substance use begins, hard drugs beginning to enter the picture.
For parents, this stage is when the young person faces the harsh realities of separation from home,independent living,and self-support, so their challenge is to respect decisions and allow consequences, to give mentoring advice (when asked) but not to rescue from bad choices, and to express faith in the young person’s capacity to learn and recover from mistakes.
THIS is what teenage life is all about….Sounds miserable. But does it have to be this way?? Does the pivotal and foundational 15 year period in your life have to be meaningless?? I will give you a simple answer.
That’s it. NO. You do NOT have to accept these kind of expectations.
If you have a dream, chase it. If you feel the Lord calling you to ministry, go. Make disciples.
If you feel like all of your relationships are strained, or your schoolwork is failing, or you and God have been out of touch, fix it.
So often we as young people listen to the lies Satan, the media and our peers are telling us. Evil KNOWS that Christ has given us a power.
Jesus has brought up a magnificent and bold generation of young risk-takers. You are passionate, you have dreams, you have a fire in your soul….But my friend, it’s NOT meant to be extinguished!
The Lord wants us to use our 15 years (ages 9-23) of youth wisely, and I don’t think He means by sitting on the couch and munching on food and social media for hours on end.
No, my friend, you were called out of His marvelous light, you know the truth of salvation.
It is true, that with great power, comes great responsibility!!
If you don’t come away from this blog post with any extra inspiration or knowledge but one thing, let it be this:
When Jesus said “go and make disciples” He wasn’t excluding people under 18.
With that being said, go.
Connect. Learn. Invest. Savor. Rest in Him and run the race of life enjoying every little productive and peaceful moment we’ve been given.