Teenage period is, in reality, a period of crisis. The crisis is experienced mainly in matters of faith. This may be due to the pressure from the peer group, that ridicules other’s religious convictions or from a teacher, who instills atheistic ideas, or from older people, who belittle the importance of God. This crisis of faith could be aggravated, if the young people, who undergo such a crisis would not feel a welcoming atmosphere in the family to vent their concerns.
Parents, whose responsibility it is to provide for the physical, psychological and spiritual growth of their children, are expected to create and foster an atmosphere of trust with their children. Such an atmosphere, would inspire them to open up their problems, which may disturb them.
One of the ways in which the parents could provide such an atmosphere is by developing a friendly relationship with the teenage children. In this way, the teenagers would be inspired to open up their worries and concerns without any inhibition. They would not hesitate even to open up the faith crisis, which may raise questions about what they have learnt to believe.
This requires that the parents spend quality time with their children, so that the children, may sense that their parents are very interested in their over-all growth. It demands that the parents should turn off any electronic gadgets and TV for sometime and give their full attention to what the children would share.
When the parents give an impression that they are really interested in the wellness of the children and that they are willing to listen to them, such an atmosphere would foster trust and confidence in the mind of the children. Joy and happiness would prevail in a family, when the parents and the children set aside all their personal or individual tasks for some time every day and allot family-time for a free and frank discussion on any matters of concern or crisis in life. May God bless the parents to be the first instruments of healing and strength to their children, particularly in matters of faith.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.