Do you feel the increased pressure on your kids, on your family? Some things may seem easier for this generation, true. However, there is an enormous amount of pressure and stress on our young people and our families as well, and I think we need to be very aware of it so that we can not just figure out how to survive, but learn to thrive! I am not saying that I have figured this out as a parent. I am saying that it keeps coming up as I spend time with young people.
I have spent a lot of time with high school students and the same theme keeps coming up. As I have been talking with students about what seems to keep them from their relationship with God and from pursuing Him like they want to – their answer may surprise you. For many students it may be a desire to do their own thing (an answer we may think of as “typical” teenager answer), but for most their answer is typically …. “time”. When I press them on what exactly they mean by that answer, many students are really candid. They acknowledge that they have “time” but have a hard time prioritizing with the other good things that seem and feel more important at the time. I don’ think this is a new issue – but I do think there is a lot more pressure to be “the best”, to be “well-rounded”, to be “enough” to get into college, to find a job, to make the school team and even to get the attention of their busy parents.
Students and families seem to have less available time for things like church, family time, friends, rest, fun, service (for the sake of doing something good and not to put on an application), meals together, and pursuit of faith.
Let’s slow down. Let’s figure out how to tell and also show our kids what it looks like to have “time” for the important things in life. I am not always a good example of how that should look, but I want to be. What about you?