One day, not so long from now, my kids will be teenagers.
That is the thought I had yesterday as my husband and I drove seven high schoolers on a trip for greasy burgers and hiking (great combo, no?). My husband is a youth minister and while I do spend a lot of time with high schoolers, much of it is in the context of teaching. Not too often do I get to take a day-long road trip with them without my own kids tagging along.
As we listened to the radio with them and listened to their conversations, I was struck by how much growing up must happen before the age of 14. When I think back at my adolescence and high school years, I don’t remember it being like what teenagers experience today. Sure we heard about bullying — I went to high school during the tragic rash of school shootings. We certainly had our drama, too; though it was still unusual, there were girls in my class who got pregnant. But it just seems different now.
The drama seems so much more intense, with consequences that seem more real. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been wrapped up in the world of night-waking and diapers, but it makes me anxious to think about my kids someday experiencing the teenage life. And who knows what it will be like then?
Do you think about your young kids’ teenage futures? Does it worry you? How do you balance being involved enough to have concerns with trusting that you are equipping your kids to make it through high school relatively unscathed?