What can we do together to help our youth? This question often drives the youth ministry at Bloomingdale Church. Grant Stenzel, a local licensed counselor, recently spoke at our Parenting Teens Series on the topic, “Understanding Self-Esteem, Self-Harm, and Self-Destructive Behaviors.” We also used his video at our recent Mentors/ Adult Youth Leaders training to discuss practical steps to take because of the potential issues in these areas:
- Realize self-esteem influences self-harm and self-destructive behaviors. Interestingly, for teens, what they believe about themselves is not as important to them as what they believe others think of them.
- Emphasize what we can do as influencers to ensure our students receive support in these areas. Presence and influence are an important in the lives of students.
- Incorporate the lessons of James 1:19b in how we relate to our students: “…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” Patience, listening and not reacting negatively are necessary when relating to teens.
What you can do:
- Pray for students.
- Be vigilant.
- Provide support when students are in need.
- Work together to make our youth group a safe haven for students.
- Watch Grant Stenzel’s talk: