Focus on Your Teen: 9 Best Activities to Do As a Family [Infographic]
It is important to focus on your teen especially because we live in such a superficial and materialistic world.
I think about the situation with Kate Spade and her loss of life due to suicide. It makes you realize there is more to life than a designer purse.
Perhaps we have lost our focus. Our world tends to value things more than people. Here is one of Kate Spade’s quotes, “I adore pretty things and witty words.” Unfortunately, pretty things and witty words didn’t help her feel life was worth living.
Where Is Your Focus?
I am back to focusing on people. More importantly, I am going to focus on my teen. I want her to know all the money, clothes, purses, and fame cannot make a person happy. If that were the case, we would have many more happy Americans.
Instead, we have a lot of depressed Americans. America has one of the highest rates of depression. Our teens are included in this statistic. Social media is to blame for a lot of this depression. Here is an infographic on The State of Mental Health in America (2018).
Our teens constantly compare their things with each other and post it on Instagram/Snapchat, etc. Other teens look at social media for a while and get depressed. They are upset they don’t have those things or weren’t invited to a certain party.
There has got to be more to life than posting your purse, clothes, shoes, car, or who you are with on Social Media. I’d be depressed, too, if this were all I looked at during the day.
The Black Hole
Most of us have pretty much what we want, but it is not enough. There is a black hole in our hearts. Anything we try to buy or add to our lives goes into this black hole.
The problem is you can never fill a black hole. It is a bottomless pit. Boy, do we try!
I loved my Kate Spade purse and wore it for several months with great pride. Guess where that Kate Spade purse is right now?
It is in my closet on a shelf. The season changed. I have another purse I am wearing for the summer. While I was on vacation, I was looking at yet another designer purse. I didn’t buy it, but I was tempted.
Could it be we are always looking for the next best thing to fill that void?
Where Is Your Focus?
Is your focus on your teen’s character? Or is it focused on the accumulation of stuff, popularity, and position? I had to ask this question to myself often when my kids were growing up.
We are so concerned about them having the right purse, outfit, car, and status. Maybe we have lost focus on them as a person and their character. Who are our children becoming?
Are they more concerned with the external than the internal? Are WE more concerned with external than internal? Take time to honestly asses your child’s character. Ask yourself where they are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
9 Ways to Focus On Your Teen (or Younger Child) This Year:
1. Devotional at Meal Time
Read a devotion every day that focuses on character. Ask a few questions at the end so you can get feedback. Use this time to focus on the story and the choices that were made-good or bad.
2. Bible/Prayer Quiet Time
Focus on your teen or young children by creating a quiet time during the day or before bed. Have them do Bible/prayer reading. I used this scale as an idea for their spiritual time: Age=time. If your child is 15 years old, encourage a 15 minute Bible/prayer time.
Related: How to Approach God as Parents
Find a place to volunteer together. Most schools require a certain amount of volunteer hours. Use the summer or holidays to do it together. You will have something to talk about as a family. There will be bonding over what you saw together, and how you made a difference.
4. Mission trip
For years we did a family mission trip in the summer. Both of my kids say this was the best thing we did as parents. It was life-changing for our whole family. If you can’t go, send your kids on a trip.
5. Teachable moments
Take time to talk about things like suicide, #metoo, or whatever is important to your family. Talk through all the aspects of it, and let your kids wrestle through the issues. You don’t have to have all the answers.
6. Character quality
Focus on your teen or young children by picking a character quality each week. Your kids can help pick it out so they have ownership of the choices. Weave that character quality into discussions all week long.
Have the kids work around the house or do a lemonade stand. Teach tithe and offerings with their earned money. Or have them help an older neighbor for free.
8. Pray together
Pray together every day at meals and at night. Your kids are not too old to pray with them. I prayed on the phone with my 19-year old the other night.
Pick someone outside the family to pray for such as a missionary or friend. Someone that your teen/child cares about.
9. Eat together
I can’t tell you how important it is to eat with your family most days. Turn off the TV and talk to each other. You will find out a lot just by listening. Give time for each person in the family to talk.
It is a non-threatening environment that gives you a clear window into your teen or child’s heart. I suggest there never be any real punishment given while at the table. It will muddy your time with the family.
Related: How to Get to Your Child’s Heart
I pray you will make time to focus on your teen or young children so they realize there is more to life than a designer purse or the next best piece of sport’s equipment. Put your time in things that are eternal instead.
What fun activities would you recommend to do with your teen?
Book on Family Estrangement from a Christian Point of View
Are you experiencing family problems? Perhaps you and a loved one are no longer speaking to each other. Don’t go another day without reading this book. It addresses family problems and estrangement from a biblical point of view. Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart is on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
Get Creating Family Memories for FREE in exchange for your email. If you get this book, it will help you build a good relationship with your kids so that when the hard times come (teen years), you will be able to weather the storm.
Scroll down or look to the side to sign up. You can also get it at your favorite bookstore.
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.
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