Have teens? Let me guess…
Your son wants to be a garbage man, right? And your daughter has a burning desire to be a data entry operator, I’ll bet!
Not that there is anything wrong with either of these professions, but honestly, I’d imagine that for the most part, your poor teenager may have NO idea what he or she wants to be “when they grow up,” nor do they have a burning desire for anything much more than going to the movies with their friends over the weekend…
Such is the life of the typical, American teen. In our current culture, they find themselves floating somewhere between feeling like a kid and being considered a grown-up (by a multitude of standards…); not fitting into either camp, not necessarily wanting to, and yet – needing to belong somewhere!
So expecting them to know what they want to be or do when they grow up is like expecting a beginning musician to know what’s their favorite genre of music to play…
What’s A Parent To Do?
Many parents I know, including myself, desperately want to help their kids navigate this time period. Nobody enjoys feeling insecure or unsure of themselves; many of us live with the memory of questioning everything about ourselves, too, and out of love want to enable our kids to avoid that personal discomfort or even fear of the future.
We subject our kids to personality tests, spiritual gift tests, reading/working through the book “What Color is My Parachute?”, career placement surveys or classes, or a myriad of other tools to figure out their future college or major or career. We want our children to be successful in life, don’t we?
But – and I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you – that is not our job!
Our job as Christians is to glorify God by serving Him and others with competence, dependability, integrity, and loyalty.
Our job as parents is to teach our children to do the same.
Do we believe in our heart of hearts that God has a plan for us? If so, do we believe that God has a plan for our children?
If we have hearts that truly seek to glorify God, He promises to be faithful to reveal those plans for and to us…and those plans include our future work and career!
Not that we shouldn’t desire to discover and develop our children’s gifts and talents. This starts from their personality type and extends to learning styles and musical or artistic talents. Additionally, we absolutely should work hard to learn and grow in them, to be good stewards of those qualities. But success is defined in so very many different ways!
So What We Need to Do Is This:
Help our kids learn how to work hard with whatever job or responsibility at hand…
…and then rest and leave the results to God, because
I hope, dear mom (and dad!) that knowing this helps you to breathe easier.
I hope that this helps you look at your teen without stress and anxiety.
I hope you can begin to engage again with your teen as a co-journeyman, and look upon them with eyes of encouragement and promise, knowing that in God’s perfect timing, He will prepare him or her for whatever He has already prepared for them to do, and bring it to fruition.
Relax and breathe…and live confidently that in due time, they’ll discover their life’s work…their true and fulfilling calling…
Do you have teens? Are you struggling with this right now? Or have any other words of wisdom to share with us all? We’d love to hear them in the comments!!
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