Tag Archive for: showing empathy to teens

The Respect Dare – Used and Hurting

2014-08-19 19.41.43

Not quite sure how to console her son, Lita was frustrated at the turn of events.  Her 14 year old son had been so excited to invite Ben over after church.  They had been planning the big day for a couple of weeks!

Starting school had been difficult for Logan as he tried to navigate his way through a new school and establish friendships.  Some of the kids had been friends since grade school and clicks were well established.  When Logan spotted Ben in the cafeteria the third day of school, he was elated!

“Mom,” he excitedly shouted as he walked in from school. “Guess who has the same lunch period as me!!”

Ben and Logan occasionally saw each other at church on Sunday, but now that they were in the same school together, Lita was hoping for a closer friendship.  Since she and her husband already knew Ben’s parents from church, it was only natural that the relationship was picking up speed with each new encounter.  Both sets of parents were excited that their sons had a “good” friend to hang out with.

Sunday hadn’t come soon enough for Logan.  After eating lunch, Ben suggested they go for a bike ride after seeing several bikes in the garage.

“Sure,” said Logan.  “That’s a great idea!”

As soon as they left, Ben was ready to take charge of the bike trip.  He knew exactly where they were going.

“Come on, Logan.  I want you to meet my friend, Sarah.”  Off Ben went, riding faster and faster as if Logan wasn’t even there.  “Hurry up, Logan, Sarah is expecting us.”

Not sure of what to make of the situation, Logan peddled faster to catch up.  By the time he arrived, Ben was already at Sarah’s front door.  “Hi, Ben!  I thought you would never get here.  Let’s go for a walk.”

In the woods behind Sarah’s house, Logan felt like a third wheel.  As soon as they had gotten out of sight, Ben and Sarah started making out, kissing with hands all over each other.  Logan didn’t know what to do.  He just walked around the woods trying not to watch.  Ben was his guest and he knew he couldn’t leave without him.

After arriving back home after the bike ride, the boys seemed to lose interest in each other.  Lita offered to take Ben home early since both seemed ready to end their day.

“Logan, what happened?” Lita asked on the ride home.  “You seemed so excited about having Ben come today.  Then it just seemed to fizzle out.”

“Mom, I just didn’t know what to do.  Ben didn’t come to spend the day with me.  He came over just to hang out with Sarah.  I just feel so used.  He’s not allowed to hang out with Sarah because his parents think he is too young to have a girlfriend.  He used my invitation as a way to spend time with her.”

“Logan, I’m so sorry you had to endure that today.  It must make you sad to think that Ben was more interested in seeing Sarah than spending time with you.”

“I’m more mad than anything!  What makes him think I can be used to see his girlfriend!”

“You know, Logan,” she continued, “the Bible talks about the need to forgive those who hurt you.  Sometimes that’s not very easy.”

Colossians 3:13-14

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

As parents we need to harness those teachable moments.  When our children are hurt by their friends, it is an opportune time to console them and teach about forgiveness.

“Let go…and let God,”