In the realm of parenting adolescents, the traditional methods of coercion and constant admonitions seem to have lost their effectiveness. The incessant struggle to detach them from their screens, steer them away from nocturnal habits, or dissuade them from the allure of social media has only led to further entrenchment. No more admonitions such as, ‘Give this up, forsake that, for your own good.’ A paradox of youth psychology prevails: the more we instruct them not to, the more they will; the more we implore them to, the more they won’t. It’s as though they are rendered insensible by the discord of threats and lulled into apathy by ceaseless badgering.
However, a paradigm shift in approach is required, one that focuses on inspiring and awakening the dormant spirits of the young generation.
One practical example of this transformative approach lies in the application of inspirational leadership, particularly in guiding adolescents through the embodiment of a cause or purpose. Rather than incessant warnings and demands to relinquish certain behaviors, parents and influential figures can lead by example, living out a profound cause such as the values of Christ, environmental stewardship, community service, or other impactful endeavors.
Consider a scenario where a parent, rather than imposing restrictions, actively engages in community service or philanthropic initiatives, inviting their adolescent to join and experience firsthand the fulfillment derived from contributing to a cause. By leading through action, and displaying passion and commitment to the cause, adolescents witness a living embodiment of the ideals they’re encouraged to embrace. This firsthand experience serves as a powerful catalyst, awakening their spirits to the impact and purpose beyond their immediate desires.
In this instance, an adolescent observing their parent or mentor actively engaged in a cause becomes inspired to partake in the same, not out of coercion but due to a genuine awakening and understanding of the impact and fulfillment such actions bring. By igniting this intrinsic motivation and unveiling a world beyond their personal interests, adolescents find a sense of purpose and drive to effect positive change in their surroundings.
The remedy is to present a divine vision—a powerful beacon of inspiration. Live out the cause of Christ as an exemplar for them to follow, and in doing so, stir their dormant spirits. With newfound awakening comes the potential to effect real change in this world, for they are now “woke” to the cause of Christ. In the end, it is the awakening of their spirits that will enable them to make a profound difference!