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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On the Busyness of a Generation

One thing I've noticed in my ministry and time with teens is how busy they are. One girl I know is in Show Choir, Speech, and the "One Act" this semester. All of her weekends are booked solid, she has practice for one thing or another every day after school until at least 5, does homework for her 3 AP courses until dinner, eats, and goes to bed.

When does a teen like this have time to practice their faith... almost as important, when does a teen like this have time to be teen, to foster good relationships, and take time for themselves?

But this is not just an isolated case--most of my youth suffer from the "overdrive syndrome". They do marching band, track, speech, basketball, play, show choir, dance, hockey... all of which take up at least three days a week after school, as well as most weekends.

Granted, I am a little biased; I would rather have them spend all their time at Church. But even so, I would not want them spending ALL they're time here... a kid needs time to be a kid.

What are the side effects of this? Well, people have trouble prioritizing and committing. Deadlines to my youth and parents seem to be relative. They never want to commit to anything unless they know what else will be going on at the time. They are always waiting for something better to come along. Also, because parents tend to put more of a focus on Athletic and Artistic achievement rather than spiritual achievement, our kids are not getting spiritually fed.

So who's to blame? Well, everyone. The parents are to blame for letting they're kids do so much (they should limit activities) and for instilling an extreme "need to succeed" attitude. The kids are at fault for not being able to prioritize, commit, and realize what they need in life. The Church is to blame to for not making Faith marketable to youth.

How do we fix this? We need to let our children know that they're worth is not based on how much they do, but on who they are in God. They need to know that silence, simplicity, and spirituality are the keys to a healthy and happy life. Finally, they need to be forced to make decisions and to ask themselves "what is most important in my life, and why?"

So concludes my rant for the day.

1 comment:

Nadine said...

How can a teen prioritize faith when it's not modeled for them?? I agree that sometimes parents let their kids do too much, but adults can be over involved as well, and not have their priorities straight either. I think it's why I'm all for adult faith formation and think it's really where a lot of the focus should be at parishes. but then again, who am I to talk? I'm not 'in the biz' so to speak... just my thoughts. (: