Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

9/20/2007

Teens, talk to your parents

Time was that 15-24 year olds were a high risk group for all sorts of unnecessary forms of death from causes that ranged from drug use and car accidents to suicide. But as Mark Males points out in an opinion piece for The New York Times This Is Your (Father’s) Brain on Drugs,
What experts label “adolescent risk taking” is really baby boomer risk taking. It’s true that 30 years ago, the riskiest age group for violent death was 15 to 24. But those same boomers continue to suffer high rates of addiction and other ills throughout middle age, while later generations of teenagers are better behaved. Today, the age group most at risk for violent death is 40 to 49, including illegal-drug death rates five times higher than for teenagers.
What does it mean to honor your father and mother, when you are acting more responsibly than they? The question is serious. I do think that one can honor a Mom addicted to crack or a Dad who likes to hang out in bars until late into the night. But honoring parents in these situations is different from how Beaver and Wally might have honored Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver on the 50's show Leave it to Beaver. Chances of actually sitting down your parents and talking to them about the problems are very slim.

How can a teen walk that line of love and respect in such a setting? I know that there is no simplistic answer and every situation would bring up its own challenges, but it would be made better if the teen found an adult or adults, such as grandparents, a scout leader, etc. to whom they could look up.

What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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3 Comments:

  • At 9/20/2007 9:16 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    I agree, I think all teens need a person that they can look up to. I also believe that it needs to start well before they are teens. If and when they do have a problem, they already have that connection and trust.

    My daughter told me yesterday she is looking for that person now, needing someone other than me to talk to. We have always been able to talk, but I also understand that she needs someone else also. I’m OK with that as long as she is talking to someone.

    Her question to me was how? How do I find this person and know that I can trust them to just be there and listen. I was lost at that point, I will openly admit that I never gave her that opportunity as a young person to find that adult that she new would be there. I was also a little sad, that she never found an adult to look up to.

    I am working on getting that connection now with my little ones. It is very important that they have good strong people to look up to.

     
  • At 9/20/2007 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rhonda,

    You are a wonderful mother! I can tell by your caring words and by the fact that your daughter feels that she can be honest with you.

    Parents and priests, I believe, have the most difficult jobs in the world. We are only human, and none of us are perfect. But, we have to remember that there's no time like the present to fullfill an opportunity. Forgive the regrets of your past and use this time to help your daughter find somebody to talk to. Maybe now is the time for you to be that person for her. Maybe now is the time for you to guide her to the right person who will be supportive...to both of you.

    I have the same problem with my kids. Their dad spends most of his nights and weekends out. It's interesting, though; as much as I steer them towards "appropriate" role models, they still look up to their dad the most. I guess it's about honoring and loving him regardless of his parenting skills. They don't seem to compare him to priests, scout leaders, teachers, etc...Maybe my kids are able to see the good qualities in all of them, including their dad, and hopefully utilize them in their lives.

    Sometimes we can learn so much from our own children.

     
  • At 9/20/2007 11:41 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Anonymous,

    Thank you!

    Yes we can learn a lot from our children, like how to forgive. I’m working on this one, I wish her dad were around to be that role model for her, she needs a good male influence in her life. After he passed away I told myself that I was all she needed, but I know now that’s not true. I can only do so much and at times we all need help.

    I am very lucky; I have been blessed with wonderful children.

     

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