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The Task of Teaching a Teenager

I teach. I am a sounding board reverberating simple instructions into the atmosphere known as the classroom. My mind is a magnitude of knowledge bursting at the edge of my skull while it watches the hairs on my head turn into a slumbering shade of gray.

Frustration is fuming all around me as I witness a generation wasting away their future and dumbing down their own intellect and potential to be more than someone who “Googles” the answer or relies upon others to give them a response.

This past Sunday, a guest speaker brought to my attention a highly unique creature, which immediately snapped my synopsis into action. The sloth. You may have known that the sloth lives way up high in the treetops of the rainforest, and by the name alone you can assume that they are quite slow, lazy, and unmotivated. However, did you know that due to their mobility challenges, there is actually an entire ecology living on the fur of this animal including algae, moths, beetles, cockroaches, and fungi? How crazy is that!!

Now, do you see where I am headed with this? Let’s make the comparison. A millenial’s lack of desire to engage in the real world around them and educating to better themselves compared to the sloth and the ecology living literally on them. Granted that a sloth will never receive a higher education besides the treetops, yet opportunities and potential are whirling all around students of today, but the desire to improve the mind, body, soul, and move more than two feet is lacking engagement. Instead, the focus of improvement is dependent upon their current status, number of likes, and instant replies.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Rather than relying upon their own intellect to problem solve, they would rather continue to be spoon-fed someone else’s’ rhetorical response. Parents are allowing their children to disengage from the intellectual world in exchange for a community transmitting in characters, symbols, and nonverbal gestures.

So what’s a parent to do? Be strong. Be a parent. Not a friend.   A child, yes, even teenagers, desire structure, expectations, and limits. Challenge your child to achieve what seems just a little too far out of their reach-ability zone and help them to push themselves to obtain those goals. By encouraging and supporting your child to move beyond the four walls of their screen, you are helping them to establish a lifetime habit.

Life is hard, but it doesn’t mean it cannot be done. After all, as the Proverb rings out through my household resonating into my children’s souls:

“Lazy hands make a man poor. Diligent hands bring wealth.” (Proverbs 10:4)

About Renee

is an author and editor for The Bottom Line Ministries as well as a member of Faith Writers. Currently she teaches high school language arts. She is a mom to four amazing blessings and enjoys every moment life has to offer. Renee has a fervor and drive to learn, she loves to read and spend time with her family, and is involved with her local church ministries. Humbled by God’s gift of words, she has a passion to write what the Holy Spirit has placed in her heart. She hopes to publish her in-progress book someday, but in the meantime, is honored to be placed as part of the TBL writing family and is holding on to the ride wherever God is leading. Renee and her family reside in their country home in Holland, Iowa.

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