The Seven Cries of Today's Teens
- 2003 2 Feb
First we had Boomers, then X'ers ... now it's Millennials. This positive term Gallup uses to describe today's teenagers speaks volumes about the time period and their approach to life.
Parents and teachers-adults in general-may question the extreme lifestyles and behaviors of many Millennials who dress outlandishly or have too many piercings. The cutting-edge profile of the Millennial Generation shows us that our adolescents not only need adult guidance, they want it!
In the current design-your-own-morality culture, our teens are pleading for our mentoring. In fact, a recent Gallup survey found that 92.7 percent of teenagers felt the need to be trusted, and 92.2 percent said they felt a need for love.
"Rather than steamrolling over teenagers and crushing their spirits with questions of distrust, we need to learn how to communicate with our youth and provide a trusting, loving environment," states author and speaker Timothy Smith, who is also one of the 40 select fellows of the Gallup International Institute. "If we instill more trust, love and purpose in our teens, people of all ages, from the Baby Boomers to the Gen X'ers, will draw together in a new sense of community."
The Seven Cries of Today's Teens (Integrity, January 2003) is an enlightening and vital tool for adults in which Timothy Smith references a wealth of research. This information was made available to Smith by George Gallup with the directive to find positive ways to help today's teens.
With this rare opportunity from Gallup, Smith takes us inside the greatest needs of Millennials and provides excellent help in communicating effectively across the generations. This book is an accessible, non-intimidating guide that will allow you to interpret what your teenager desperately wants you to hear, so you can respond and make a new connection with them, beginning today.
According to Smith and this current Gallup research, today's teens are crying out with seven specific needs: to be trusted, to be loved, to be safe, to have purpose, to be heard, to be valued and to be supported.
"Millennials feel hurried, hassled and hushed by adults who are so busy with life's events that they miss important connections," states Smith. He suggests that if parents provide more listening and quality time for their teens, trust and love for their teen will grow exponentially.
"It's time to seize the day and to begin influencing the creative minds of teens," says Smith. By listening with the heart and responding with patience and wisdom, adults can significantly contribute to the social, cultural, emotional and spiritual lives of this distinctive Millennial generation.
The Seven Cries of Today's Teens by Tim Smith is available this spring.