I learned what character means through my experience with W D Tyree Ministries. My group was asked to spend a week doing missions but without any electronic distractions – no cell phones, ipods, DVD players, etc. I did not like the idea but thought it would be ok since no other group participating in this mission opportunity would have electronic devices. What our group soon realized was that out of the 400 teens participating in missions, our group was the only group that had these electronic restrictions imposed. Why? Was our group leader being mean? No, he was testing our character. He was helping me discover “why” I do what I do. Sadly enough, I disappointed my group leader, my group, but most of all myself. I have learned that being trustworthy is more important than getting away with doing something wrong.
Children are a product of their environment and teenagers are no exception. If they are subject to a hostile living environment where profanity is being used, shouting is always the way of communication or if there are issues of violence; then the teen is learning that these are the appropriate ways to deal with aggression.
This may not be the case in every situation. It could also be the teen is going through a rebellious phase.
There is a difference between anger and aggression. Anger is being upset and aggression is acting out violently. The most important thing that needs to be done is finding out the root to the problem and why the teen has so much aggression. Fear, guilt, betrayal, insecurity, deep rooted anger or a chemical imbalance are a few reasons for the aggressive behavior.
As a parent you would like to trust your children; but teenagers lie and the bond is broken, it puts a strain on the relationship. Once a parent realizes they have been lied to, feelings of anger may surface. While it seems to be a fact that teens and lies are like two peas in a pod, you want to know what steps to take to help your teen stop lying so that trust can be regained somewhere along the way.
The Parable of the Sower provides a model for approaches to challenging character of our youth:
4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” ~Luke 8:4-8 ESV