In the construction of identity adolescents usually go through a series of questions that can strengthen or weaken their faith, knowing how to sustain them and help them strengthen their beliefs is a vital part of our role as parents.
Have you ever wondered what a teenager is most concerned about? Among his main concerns is being able to build his own identity through certain questions that arise: Who am I? What is expected of me? God exists? And if so, how do I find out?
It is in this adolescent stage where faith grows stronger or crumbles. These questions are part of the path to a rich and deep spirituality. Why is it so important to strengthen the faith of a teenager? We live in a world where values fade and social discourse is amoral and threatens to destroy family life and that of our children.
Self-esteem, will and character
They go hand in hand, especially when a conflict or situation needs to be resolved in light of their beliefs. Let me tell you about my own experience. In my home there were clear rules regarding going out to dance, or going out with young people of the opposite sex, and my classmates teased me, because I preferred to be old and mature enough before having a boyfriend, or to dances and come home late. I knew that if I continued in that position of defending my beliefs, the threat of running out of friends was a great possibility, but I still persevered in what I believed was correct. My character grew stronger and stronger by acting in harmony with my values. I share some ideas that can help you:
You are the key
Perhaps at this moment you are drying your hands on the tablecloth and smiling at yourself, believing that you have no influence on the spiritual life of your children. But to your amazement, parents are the biggest influence on children’s spirituality, and especially at this stage in their lives. Parents who live their faith and commit to it, help their children develop as believers, with an unalterable and pure faith over the years.
Define what “normality” is
In this adolescent pilgrimage through the construction of identity, a question arises that is almost constant: “Am I normal?” Answering this question can be distressing and painful. That is why it is necessary for you to help them understand that normality is a subjective construction that does not depend on what a majority dictates or establishes in each era, but that normality is based on what leads us to be better people and fills us with joy and peace.
Share how important your faith is to you
Don’t be ashamed that he catches you opening your heart to God. Let me see you praise, bless and honor His holy name; attend religious services in your community and always extend a clear and precise invitation to come with you. Remind him to bring his own books and encourage him to participate in the congregation.
Help him get his Sunday clothes ready
At this stage, personal image is of vital importance; teenagers want to look good and, even if they resist, they love to dress formally or in a special way. So help him to be neat and proper beforehand, so not having clothes ready or clean will not be an excuse for refusing to attend meetings.
Encourage him to share his spiritual experiences on social media
You can take this great opportunity to encourage him to share his feelings online about what he is discovering about his bond with God or how he feels in the meetings or groups he attends and participates in. Young people need to feel that they, too, have rewarding spiritual experiences and that they can share them with others without being ashamed.
Allow them to get involved in activities within the church they attend
Don’t be afraid that you won’t have time to do homework or fulfill your student or home responsibilities due to attending spiritual activities overtime. It is in these meetings where his faith is based week after week and he acquires the desire to be a better person every day and develop his talents and abilities in order to bless others.
Find time to pray for each other
Praying for one another is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the faith of all members of a family. There is no other experience that provides more security and support for an adolescent than knowing that in your family you pray for each other.
Participate together as a family in activities where you can learn more about your faith
Whether reading the Scriptures together or attending training courses or watching documentaries or films linked to their own beliefs, all of this is a consistent link that not only enables family unity but also helps its members to acquire knowledge and grow in faith. . Learning together is growing in faith and developing as a united and believing family.
Look for opportunities so that as a family and individually they can serve by giving of themselves to other people
Loving and charitable service is a valuable instrument that transmits fundamental values of love for neighbor and builders of a more just and caring world following the model of a faith based on love and respect for the other.
If you help your adolescent to stay in his principles and beliefs, he is likely to develop a strong character, an untamed will, and a confident and solid self-image. You will also be a faithful witness to the love of a generous God who longs to bless your life. Strengthen the faith of your children and you will see how they celebrate and embrace the miracle of being children of God, even in times of adversity and trials.