Empowering Your Teen

In the last week, teens across the nation have been using their voices to challenge our country’s leaders.  They have made strong statements and are standing up to fight for what they feel is needed in this country.  They are using social media to organize and start to develop a voice about the times in our country.  I hope they keep it up!  They are the leaders of the future and I believe that in order for our country to continue, they need to keep talking, yelling, and making their needs known.  They deserve to be heard, and as they are, they will change our country, for the better.

The upcoming generation has been described by some baby boomers as lazy and not motivated.  Recent events have proven that they are far from lazy, and they are also far from under educated.  The public school education must be working because they understand that elected officials work for the people, not for the lobbyists that give them money.  They also understand that if they don’t feel an elected official is working for the people, that person needs to go.  They have the power to elect people who will do the will of the people.  So government and history teachers, you have done your job.

As our nation moves to the next generation, that generation needs to step up to the plate.  They need to stand up for what they believe in, and keep this nation moving in the right direction.  They need to get support from each other, and hold on to beliefs.  The teens that experienced the events of last week, and teens in the past that have survived similar events, have shared experiences that most people don’t have.  They have witnessed what’s usually limited to our military.  They witnessed death and violence at a significant level.  They understand that it’s real, and not a video game.  They share the losses of brothers, sisters, friends, and teachers.  They witnessed heroes as they tried to manage the situation.  They have information that, I’m hoping, not many teens will have in their lifetimes.

Issues around mass shooting events aren’t new.  There have been victims of violence now for many years, and our leaders haven’t done much to address the issues.  They seem to wait for things to go away, and never really challenge each other in a way that makes change.  As the next generation stands up to begin that challenge, that adults haven’t been able to do, they are getting threatened, disrespected, and dismissed.  What the leaders don’t understand is that they have parents, extended family, friends, and other adults that are behind them.  I hope that this continues, and I encourage my kids to participate as they feel the need.  This may be where our future leaders come from, and they need to be supported.

Being happy for life comes from understanding that you can make a difference.  It comes from getting support from people who care and share your concerns.  It comes from being strong in the face of intimidation.  The voices we are hearing are strong and should stay that way.  We need that kind of spirit in a time when adults can’t make change.  Keep it up!  Fight for what’s right!  It’s what needs to happen, and is the way it should have been a long time ago!