I first heard of the rocket car story back in the 90’s. Back then everything on the net was true. 😛
I only recently learned it’s one of the most successful urban legends in history. While this particular story is legend you only have to visit the Darwin Award website to realize a lot of people have sadly and unintendedly ended their lives based on their beliefs in the wrong information or out right lies.
While this “help” may not lead to our teens immediate death, it can and does take away from our teen’s ability to have an abundant life.
As parents we have a responsibility to provide our teens with the truth so they can make abundant life choices. Here is some of “information” our teens are encouraged to believe.
Your Parents Are L7 Squared and Wacked
Teens are made to believe parents just don’t know what they’re talking about or they just don’t understand. You see this portrayal on TV and in the movies.
Parents are fickle and arbitrary, setting rules just to make their teen’s life miserable. If a teen can’t subject themselves to their parents authority then they will probably always have problems accepting authority the rest of their lives.
Remind your teen you are placed in their lives to guide, train and lead them in the right way to go. Also keep up with their current vernacular so you know what wacked and L7 squared means.
My Worth Is Based on My Achievements
Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Our culture considers people who are successful or doing well are always people making a lot of money and owning the associated symbols of wealth.
They believe they’re only as good as their last report card, account balance, athletic performance and award.
This creates a tremendous amount of anxiety in the teen’s life. The teen is motivated by the fear of failure. When the inevitable failure enters their lives it becomes who they are. Parents can unknowingly contribute to this anxiety by raising their kids to become elite performers whether its academics, sports or the arts.
Teens will seek careers that pay big salaries rather than leverage their strengths and talents. They end up missing out on doing the things they would truly love and fill them with passion.
Another outcome of this attitude of worth is their feelings toward the needy and even themselves when they feel they’re not making what they should. Also a teen’s integrity can be easily compromised when they believe their personal worth is based on the size of their bank account.
Having Sex Will Make You A Man/Woman
For teens, sex is viewed as a rite of passage. Hollywood promotes this idea through their genre of “coming of age” movies.
This message is the theme of several Hollywood movies: American Pie, Superbad and Sex Drive to name a few. Having sex becomes a goal to be achieved like a getting your first job or driver’s license.
When their peers begin experiencing sex, they feel as though they’ve become the odd man out. It’s as if their peers have become men and women and they are still a boy/girl.
The true purpose, proper context and beauty of sex gets lost in a manhood/womanhood conquest. This lie leaves battered and bruised hearts in its wake.
I Need To Have It All Together
Male teens feel they should have all of the answers and not have any struggles. Show strength at all times, overcome every challenge and meet every demand.
When the going gets tough put on your big boy pants, man up and take care of business. Anything less may portray them as weak.
This places young men on a lonely, stress-filled road. Feeling pressure from teachers, coaches and parents.
Beautiful Girls Are Worth More
Nearly every teen girl struggles with thoughts of their appearance, whether their ugly and/or fat. Some girls with dealing with low self esteem subject themselves to online evaluation by total strangers in hopes of getting affirmation they are beautiful and attractive. More often than not they don’t get the elusive affirmation their looking for.
The lie here is a young lady has to be beautiful to have worth. Your teen daughter needs to know the images of their favorite actress or performer has almost certainly been photo shopped to help give their bodies unrealistic help. Your teen’s favorite actress doesn’t look the way she’s portrayed.
Girls choosing to believe the lie believe they have to look the way they are portrayed. This leads girls to starve themselves, binge and purge or take part in other destructive behaviors. I can also lead to low self-esteem or depression because they feel they don’t measure up.
Parents especially dad’s need to affirm their daughter’s appearance emphasizing true beauty starts from within.
You Must Be In A Romantic Relationship
Your teen may believe if they aren’t in a romantic relationship there must be something wrong with them.
Does your teen feel better about themselves if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Do they think they can’t be happy without a guy/gal in their life?
Teach your teen not to compromise just to have somebody but rather wait on God’s best for them. The truth is a person can’t make you happy. Anytime they look for satisfaction or fulfillment in another person, they’ll be disappointed – only God can provide that for us.
Don’t allow your teen become a victim of the world around them. Don’t let them embrace the stereotypes and beliefs of their peers or media. Being aware of these common assumptions of today’s teens can help you as parents combat them, equipping you to raise children who are strong, courageous, sure of themselves and the things they believe in. This will serve them well as teens and adults.