I’ve never really shared some of the” behind the scenes” from my personal life. Well other than a few things about my husband and the birth of our baby and my helicopter parenting due to being a first time mom. But other than that I’ve not shared very much. Not because I’m hiding anything but I have so many things happening I guess I don’t think to do it that often. I’m also going to begin a personal memoir on my blog or at least I think I am. The title? Broken Girl Changed World. It’s the story of my life how I was raised by an abusive alcoholic father, rejected by both him and my biological father, became a rock star, stopped being a rock star, became a mom, launched a business and also ministry. Crazy turn of events right?
I suppose it’s my past that gives me such a heart for the future. But not just any future. I have a heart for the teens in our world. Especially broken girls. Tonight after watching Billy Graham whom I totally love I thought about all that they are facing in life. Cutting, bullying and teen suicide. Are they connected?
I go to an amazing church and I’ve been there for about 18 years. Probably longer if you ask my husband he’ll tell you for sure. I’m terrible with dates I still forget what day his birthday is. I always confuse it with my nieces. Bad I know. Anyway my church is amazing and the kids there are great too. From the outside it seems many of them are not dealing with any of the issues that I faced. But that’s only if you look at the outside.
I’m not going to share any of their stories because as a youth leader I believe in total confidentiality. But I can tell you that I hear more and more stores of cutting, that stems from bullying and then teen suicide.
It’s really sad and when the kids share their thoughts my heart breaks for them. I just think to myself, “What type of world do we have today that does this to our kids?” Some argue video games and music desensitize our kids and thus the violence and disrespect erupts. I know that outside influences can and do play a role.But I think the biggest role at times is played by the parents.
What are we doing at home to each other that our kids are watching every day. I know Chad and I had a fight yesterday (or loud discussion) however you choose to look at it. And it was in front of our 2 year old. It was upsetting to say the least. But we do try to be super careful what she sees and how we speak around her.
We are living in new days as parents with cyber bulling happening all the time. I’m not expert that is for sure Matilda is only 2 1/2. But I think there are a few things we can do based on my working with the youth in our church.
Communicate with our kids always. Ask about their day and watch for signs that perhaps they are holding something back. Find out what that is.
If they are wearing long sleeves all the time and you’ve not seen their skin in a while- best to check on that.
Tell them every day that no one from the outside can change who they are on the inside.
Inspire them, encourage them, uplift them all the time.
Make sure they understand that if kids are bothering or trying to hurt them they need to tell you immediately. I know this one may be hard but I’ve found if you are just filled with love they can’t help but come to you and want to share what’s happening.
The greatest thing I believe we can do is jut live better lives in front of them. I know that none of us are perfect and I’m not suggesting we have to be. All I’m saying is if you’re in a car and loose your mind if you get cut off, they are listening. If you talk behind people’s back and say terrible things, they will model that.
And if you happen to be a teen reading this and you’re dealing with any of it, there is hope. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Never allow another to make you feel inferior. God created you for greatness.
And I also understand that some parents are frankly just so screwed up they probably never should have had kids. For those teens pray.
Even though my dad was a mess I still had my mom to lean on thank God. But some teens don’t even have that. Maybe you can be a mentor to one of them.
I just keep thinking about them. Teen suicide is a real problem. Perhaps you and I can be part of the solution.