Teen: what investments?

26 June 2020

ados_cielAll self-taught, none knew the music and yet the cassette that we recorded at the time for the benefit of CVA was made only songs of our composition. I saw these teenagers go to work to buy their musical instruments, drums, bass guitar, piano etc. I really realized then that we were meeting a need. We touched a lot of teenagers whose parents were not Christians.

So to tell you that I am convinced that today, investing in teenagers is necessary or even indispensable, is not difficult for me. It has been part of my daily life ever since. Biblical classes, listening, expression workshops, singing group, musicals, plays, sports, holiday camp, etc. Meeting a need in any way is an investment.

My secrets

But don’t expect me to give you “recipes,” I don’t have any! On the other hand I have secrets:

  • I have always loved them as they were, without judgment of values. It’s important to tell a teenager “you’re unique, even if you need others to build yourself. That’s why you’re valuable. You have a future even if everything seems closed around you. Someone I know intimately loves you with immense love. He accepts you without judgment of value, he understands you perfectly, to him you can tell him everything, he wants to become your confidant. He’ll never disappoint you.”
  • My source of inspiration: God. Everywhere I went, I never reproduced what I had done in the past. We had to constantly renew ourselves, because the needs were never the same. When inspiration did not come, or when I did not know how to respond, prayer was my solution.
  • The important thing is not to do, but above all to respond to what teenagers expect.

If we are interested in the form that adolescence can take, we can say first of all that there is not “one” but adolescence. There are as many, if not more, ways of being a teenager than ways of being male or female, since adolescence is a period of multiple trials and errors for everyone.
“A story of your own,” said Françoise Dolto. “Neither good nor bad, made of happiness, misfortunes, incidents, accidents, joy and suffering.”
The family, the school, the society, the church, promote or inhibit (delete or slow down) this construction. Are we among those who favor it, who facilitate it?

From one era to the next

How many times have I heard from adults, “It must be hard to deal with teenagers?” My answer has always been: “But so motivating!”
Or: “Today’s young people are not the same!” If we ask ourselves whether today’s teenagers are better or worse than those of yesterday, quantitative statistics of any kind cannot suffice. Indeed, there are no objective criteria for trans-eras to answer this question, even if we can observe epidemiologically an increase in suicides, dropouts and addictions. In fact, these studies reveal how teens go wrong and encourage new solutions without saying whether one era is better than another.

Tell me, you adults, were you so different from those teenagers today “with pants too big, with their fists in their pockets and their eyes on their sneakers?” 17158513 With the passing of time, we forget our youth, our hesitations, our revolts. So we observe them, we study them, at the same time they fascinate us they frighten us, they frighten us sometimes, and that’s how we go to war against our children. If the world has changed with its way of life, its means of communication, education, its culture, families often broken up, recomposed, single parents … the adolescent remains a human being who must mourn his childhood and be born to his adult life with all that it entails. We know that there is no reference to this period. The more man puts a distance with his creator, the more evil will progress.

What do we think of teenagers?

Some will say they are young rebels, secret, sullen, self-centered… But do these qualifiers really portray the typical teenager? Should we talk about problems between teenagers and their families? School? The company? Not necessarily.
Many studies on the subject report that many parents do not have any serious difficulties with their teens. They live in harmony with them in an open climate and encourage them to achieve independence while imposing reasonable rules on them.

The term adolescence today is a word with a negative connotation that weighs heavily on the shoulders of young people. How many times have I heard from teenagers: “My parents say I’m back in the stupid age” … But teenagers are not a distinct species, but human beings just like their parents, their teachers, their animators, their neighbors etc. They too face the day-to-day problems that arise in a complex and changing world. It is up to us to help them in an intelligent, reasonable and responsible way.


Do you know that adolescence is not a disease!
Many parents fear adolescence and its crisis. But the child doesn’t suddenly turn into a monster! On the contrary, it is a step that can go well, provided you have some benchmarks and avoid conventional wisdom. Does the teen crisis have its name? Because when a child becomes a teenager, he inevitably changes… But it is not always a crisis. Some child psychiatrists prefer the term “mutation.”

This transition period often creates tension in the home. Young people ask themselves all kinds of questions: “Who am I?”, “What am I going to do in life?”, “How am I going to get along with others?” They often try to respond by defying authority and testing the rules. Parents can help them by encouraging them to take more responsibility for their choices and actions while continuing to look after and guide them. Although the adolescent frequently complains of being treated like a baby, he still needs structure in terms of expectations, routines and values to ensure his safety and well-being.

Parents sometimes feel overwhelmed, and rightly so, by the tension of adolescence. However, there is a way to improve things. We can start by waking up our memories and asking ourselves, “As a teenager, how much did I confide in my parents?”, “Was I very critical and inclined to argue?”, “What were my dreams and fears?”. The answers to these questions can help us better accept the behaviour of our teens. Some realities remain the same at all times and in all cultures. Adolescence is always a struggle for independence, a period of affirmation and opposition to parents.


Just like us at their age, adolescents face significant physiological transformations, emotional ups and downs, unknown sexual urges and pressures from their peers; their identity is acquired, they have to make important decisions and they have to deal with the loneliness and anxiety that comes with it.

Social isolation

It is another problem. With fewer families, increased mobility and high divorce rates, adolescents can no longer rely on close relatives to deal with difficult situations. When the tension rises, there may be no one to turn to for help and advice, no one to intervene and defuse the crisis.

What is the place in society?

Teenagers have no status, no place for them in society. They are no longer useful as in the past for chores such as milking cows and cutting wood, and their gains are generally not essential to the family’s livelihood. Today, few jobs make young people feel useful and appreciated. In the past, young people quickly matured. Now we ask them to be dependent and disciplined until they get the training they need to find a job in a performance-oriented society.

The world is changing rapidly; in many ways, it is different from the one we grew up in. Teenagers today live in a more complex and impersonal society. They also face AIDS, violence and job scarcity. The pressure is high. Teenagers have become the target of advertising agencies and the media, which encourage them to burn the steps and experiment without waiting

The influence of comrades

It is often perceived as negative when in fact it is largely positive. Teenagers often help themselves stay on track. Parents, on the other hand, can help their young people by encouraging them to bring friends home. Making your home a welcoming place gives your teens confidence.
It is important for them to relate to others; hence the importance of connecting them with Christian friends. When they move away from their parents, teenagers seek acceptance from others and want to be able to create their own social environment.

The sensitive link in society

Adolescence is indeed the moment when the young person tests family and social ties, tries to find his place by integrating the symbolic values and abilities of the world around him. It is therefore by no means surprising that “youth” proves to be the most sensitive link and, therefore, one of the best indicators of the health of a society, a witness to its fragilities and its wealth. Adolescence is a kind of test of truth about the effective symbolic effectiveness of social constructions.
Thus, the resurgence of school disorders can be seen as an inquiry directed at the actors of education as to the meaning and usefulness of knowledge, and as to the adequacy of their mode of transmission. Similarly, the increase in suicide attempts and suicides among young people without personal psychiatric problems forces society as a whole to consider the crucial issue of a dead end in the creation of meaning from the difficulties of existence.
Youth violence still questions the failure of the structuring role of laws. The resurgence of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, questions the ambient fantasies of control of each one on life, death, the body.

Teenagers and faith

“I keep the memory of your sincere faith, that faith that was already in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. Now she also lives in you. The Apostle Paul had noted the remarkable role of Lois and Eunice who had succeeded in passing on their faith to Timothy. This faith then became a reality in his life.
What had they done to ensure that Timothy followed in their footsteps in the faith? They had taught Timothy since childhood the Holy Scriptures, because they knew they could give him true wisdom and lead him to salvation in Jesus Christ.
Our children know us. They see our attitudes and our actions. Our own conduct must be in harmony with our teaching.
Be careful not to project on them a negative image of Christian life! Maybe they don’t want to live like us?

Our primary responsibility

… as an adult: loving them as they are and communicating to them what we believe is good, this is the first reasonable action. If we invest in the field of faith, we will never regret it. And the first investment we can make is indeed the transmission of the word and the lived testimony of a sincere faith, alive and, accompanied by prayers. The wish of my heart and prayer for them is that they be saved. Let us pray for our children. “You will be saved and your family.”

The mission of the church

I think the most important thing is not to be a spectator, but as an actor. What are we able to communicate to them, to give them, how can we help them, empower them, give them confidence so that they can in this period of change where they are weakened to feel with them adults who have benchmarks, referents on whom they can rely. In taking care of them, I always had the feeling of participating in a construction, of bringing my stone to it!

This beginning of the 21st century is marked by profound changes in society, where the benchmarks are absent, children and adolescents, by various forms of behavior, challenge us on their relationship to the world today and encourage us to reflect on the answers to be provided to accompany them towards adulthood.

I am convinced that we would like to put in place a set of measures, means that constitute a plan that is up to the task of the circumstances in order to make this very singular period of life as passable as possible, so that the adolescent ordeal is done in the best way, in a society where there is no longer a landmark.

The mission of Christians and the testimony of the church are important. Human beings are neither worse nor better than they were yesterday. He remains the same, I believe, his nature has not changed, and what really delights me is that God loves us and loves teenagers of the 21st century in the same way as those of the first century. It still has solutions and a future for them. In this world where we tend to see everything in black, where it seems that nothing goes, what happiness to say to a teenager: God loves you, he understands you, He is a future for you, He gave Jesus his son so that you may be saved. If you pray to him and trust him He will be your strength, your help, it will not be every day easy, but he will be with you and you can count on and with him. And that’s great!

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