If you’re a parent (of a teenager, especially) no one needs to tell you how challenging life can be. Navigating the often turbulent waters of puberty and young adulthood alongside children is undoubtedly a great paradox. It’s an experience that is simultaneously wrought with joy and sorrow, in addition to excitement, confusion, frustration and blessing. It’s not secret young people today face far more serious situations and temptations that similar age groups did several decades ago.
Peer pressure isn’t new, and it’s not going away any time soon. Astute parents understand there are several types of peer-related influence, not all of which are bad. However, many parents today are overwhelmed and nearly paralyzed with worry due to drastic, highly desperate and negative choices many teens are making.
Positive peer pressure is a good thing. When teens surround themselves with friends of strong moral characters, good work ethics, studious academic habits and kind hearts, they tend to thrive. However, even good kids face negative temptations at times. What makes one child flee from danger, while another forges into it, head-first? The good Lord will likely return on His final judgment day before parents can answer that question.
All we can really do is provide the best opportunities we can to help our kids reach their full potentials in life. We pray for our own and for the loved ones of other parents sharing our wondrous journeys.
I recently read a story about a new fad drawing the attention of many teenagers across the nation and abroad. It’s a dare game that involves kids logging in online, then receiving various dares and challenges from some unknown person serving as the game leader. Parents have been horrified to learn that when a child reaches the final level of the game, he or she is challenged to commit suicide. Sadly, several teens have “met” the challenge. In fact, two young ladies plummeted from tall buildings to their deaths while others filmed their “victories,” which is the misguided message inculcated in the young minds of game players.
What makes one child succumb to that type of negative peer pressure, while another recognizes its danger and avoids it? Every parent wishes he or she knew the answer. Our youth are at risk. Their minds are pliable. Parents: Be diligent and unafraid to reach out for help when needed!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.