Is My Teen Normal?
I just read about the life of Jesus. As a teen, He was uncannily good. His older brothers teased, bullied, and attempted to intimidate Him. His childhood friends, and no doubt some adults in the neighborhood considered Him odd. The Rabbis were offended by Him because He refused to follow their ceremonies, and He would point them back to the scriptures. These rabbis would seek out His parents and tell them of His insubordination. The parents felt obligated to reprimand Jesus. He became kinder the more ornery people were towards Him.
Mary knew her son was different. In spite of being told that Jesus was going to be unique, she seemed to yearn for Him to be, normal, like His peers.
Here is the problem. When did ordinary, and popular become parenting goals? On top of everything else parents are responsible for, producing the low-lying fruit of normalness in teens has rocketed to the top of the parent's to-do list.
Too many parents are overwhelmed with attempting to make every stage of their child’s life a “normal and happy” stage of development. What if Mary focused on making Jesus “like everybody else.” What if she would have said, “Go outside and find some trouble to get into?”
Being different isn’t bad.
I know many teens who are pushed to do what their peers are doing. They are miserable because they don’t fit in with the “popular” group, or they have a unique physical feature, or they may be too smart, not smart enough, too loud, or too quiet. The list is endless, and almost every child is scarred trying to reach the low level of being “normal.”
There was a television show called, The Twilight Zone, two teens were exchanging places. One teen was leaving earth to go to a different planet, the other teen was leaving that planet to come to earth. Each of them had been teased and taunted by others. The teen who was coming to earth looked like an earthling. The other teen looked like the inhabitants of the other world. Each thought the other was beautiful, and couldn’t understand why they were being teased.
If your teen is unique, do your best to accept their uniqueness, and make it a strength. Encourage them to enjoy their uniqueness, because we are all unique in one way or another.
Share your heroic story of acceptance with us, and make this a great day!!