“Working Out Who to Be…”

When we’re growing up there are all sorts of people telling us what to do when really what we need is space to work out who to be.  Ellen Page

Meditation: The current generation of children and teenagers is surrounded by so many impressions. Social media bombard our children with images all day long. Those images tell them what they should be like. Sometimes we parents try to counteract those influences by telling our children: “Time to clean up your room!” “Why don’t you read something?” “Please, put your phone away, enough is enough!” I believe that boundary setting and the holding up of behavioral expectations are important. However, even more important is for our children and teenagers to find space. Space to work out who to be. Space to feel. Space to think for themselves. Space to not just “take in”, but also formulate who they are, who they want to be and what they think about all the things they consume all day. How do our children learn to “digest” what they take in and articulate their own opinions, thoughts, hopes and fears? We as adults need to engage children. We need to create spaces for dialogue. We need to ask children and teens for their thoughts and opinions. Let us create spaces for sharing and for relationships. And so, not the media are telling our children what to think or how to be, nor we just tell them what to do, but they will work out in dialogue with us who they are and who they want to be.

Prayer: God, help us and our children use the freedoms of technology for good. Help us to not constantly “indulge” by consuming endless hours on the internet ourselves. Help us stay in relationship. Help our children and teenagers to take time away, to find spaces for reflection, opinion building and conversations. Protect us and them from abusing the amazing freedoms that our technological age gives us. Help us all – teenagers and adults alike – to work out again and again who we want to be in You. Amen

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13