OK… I turned 50 this year… so if my math is correct, it’s been a full 31 years since I’ve been a teenager.
But ‘back in the day’, things were a lot different.
I remember being bullied on the bus by a kid three grades older than me that said he was going to do something terrible to me with a knife (which he pulled from his pocket). Of course, it was harmless. Not that the 1 1/2 inch blade on his pocket knife wouldn’t have hurt. He was all talk (which I know now)… but when you’re 8, you don’t have that filter.
I also remember having to wait in line at my high school to use the pay phone. I needed to call home to ask my mom to come and pick me up after a practice or event. (For those under 30, pay phones were these weird contraptions that acted much like a cell phone does today, only they were about a hundred times larger than a cell phone and had a slot for a dime (or later, a quarter) to make a call.
Today things are much different.
No more pay phones. We carry more technology in our pockets today that we could have ever dreamed of 31 years ago.
And while in-person bullying takes place today, much of that has moved online; and many times is much meaner and much more serious that what I ever had to deal with.
Take for instance this graphic describing some of what our teenagers are dealing with:
Cyberbullying, Sexting, Texting while driving. These are all serious things for our kids to deal with.
How are our churches dealing with these new issues with our teens?
What support will your church give to kids that are victims of cyberbullying?
How will you support the family whose teenager gets caught up in online pornography, chatrooms, or sexting?
If you haven’t had to yet, you will soon.