THE PHASE WHEN EVERYBODY ELSE CAN... NOBODY ELSE HAS TO... AND YOUR RESOLUTE TEEN WILL PUSH YOU TO ANSWER, "WHY NOT?"
ANTICIPATE NEW INDEPENDENCE
Sweet Sixteen means sweet freedom. Whether this is getting a driver's license, using public transportation, or hopping in an Uber, your teenager may no longer depend on you for transportation. This year, you may constantly question just how much is too much freedom.
EXPECT SOME FRESH SKEPTICISM
With newfound freedom comes greater life experience. That really life-shattering bad thing you warned them about? They know someone who survived it. The standards you held up for them in the past? They may come to realise you haven't always lived by them. So, get ready for them to challenge you on... well, just about everything.
KEEP FIGHTING FOR THEIR HEART
A year 10 teenager still needs boundaries, but unless the boundaries makes sense in light of their personal (and changing) beliefs, they won't stay within them. Just remember, when you "debate" (loudly) boundaries with a year 10 teenager, stay in the present. They aren't challenging what you both want ten years from now, they just need you to understand what they need right now.
Your year 10 teenager feels comfortable navigating the hallways of high school, and they are ready for more. Year 10 teenagers are expanding their life experience. They will push the limits. They might even rebel a little - even though you never did. So guide them to clarify their values carefully. They still need you more than they will say.
THINKS LIKE AN PHILOSOPHER
You help them learn when you... ASK QUESTIONS.
WANTS TO KNOW "WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE?"
You capture their heart when you ... CLARIFY THEIR VALUES.
IS MOTIVATED BY FREEDOM
You coach their moral abilities when you ... CATCH THEM DOING SOMETHING GOOD.
THIS YEAR YOU WILL 'FUEL PASSION' SO THEY WILL KEEP PURSUING AUTHENTIC FAITH AND DISCOVER A PERSONAL MISSION
In this phase when your year-10 teenager is asking, "Why should I believe?" the best thing you can give them is a consistent faith community where they can process their doubts and strengthen their relationship with God. Stay engaged in their personal faith journey by having conversations at home.
SAY THINGS LIKE :
"HOW CAN I PRAY FOR YOU TODAY/THIS WEEK?"
"ARE THERE WAYS YOU WOULD WANT TO SERVE IN OUR CHURCH OR COMMUNITY?"
"LATELY, I'M FINDING I CONNECT BEST WITH GOD WHEN I'M..."
"WHEN DO YOU FEEL CLOSEST TO GOD?"
"I DON'T KNOW"
"THERE'S NOTHING YOU WILL EVER DO THAT COULD MAKE GOD STOP LOVING YOU."
"WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU FEEL LIKE GOD IS TEACHING YOU RIGHT NOW?"
YOUR YEAR-10 TEENAGER IS CHANGING
- Has difficulty falling asleep before 11pm (it's biological)
- Needs nine hours of sleep and one hour of exercise per day
- Girls have likely reached adult height and body development
- Guys may experience voice changes, weird dreams, and increased acne
- Increasingly able to focus, recall, and organise information
- Keenly aware of global issues and may be critical of the adult world
- Highly self-aware; may think "Everybody's watching me"
- Wired for risk-taking and sensational experiences
- Tends to be curious, inquisitive, and drawn toward the supernatural
- Increased interest in sexual expression; dating may become more "committed"
- Increased susceptibility to date violence and rape (peaks at 16 years)
- May experience depression; highest year for teen suicide
- Desires responsibility that increase freedom
- Feels empowered through choices rather than rules
- Responds well to specific praise
- Becoming aware of their personal tendencies and patterns
- Seeks experiences that create intense feelings and emotions
- May enjoy sharing ideas with adults who will listen