DO 2139 9/85
1. I think the teenagers really appreciate being given a little attention! They know that I'm trying to do that to help them, that the Lord is doing it‚ of course, but they know that I love them & I'm concerned about them.
2. So often teenagers feel a little left out, like they're sort of a fifth wheel, because they really can be terribly annoying & a nuisance! Remember how I used to tell you that those bike riders that kept honking their horns in Madrid were just doing that to get a little attention? That's what Dr. Fakima used to say, a lot of times teenagers are bad because they've found good behaviour doesn't get any attention from their busy modern working parents, so they're bad just to get some attention! They really long for love & some attention & affection & they need so much guidance, & yet it is one of the most neglected ages by the parents.
3. Parents really give younger children a lot more attention because they know they need help, so they get real busy sometimes with the younger children to the neglect of the older teenage children. They figure they're old enough to take care of themselves. Besides, teenage children act like they want to take care of themselves‚ are prone to be quite independent & not take advice or instruction very well sometimes. So the parents' attitude too often is, "Well‚ OK, you want to be independent, you want to go your own way & do as you please, go ahead! Go ahead & go!"
4. It's an age where parents have very often gotten so furious with them about drugs or sex or something that they've almost thrown their teenagers out of their home! They've almost disowned them because they can really be ornery, they can really be a case! Since they haven't gotten any attention by being good, they tried being bad to get a little attention! I'm talking mostly about System young people‚ of course, not ours! (Maria: Yes, because our kids can get recognition even by going out witnessing, postering‚ winning souls & disciples, doing something worthwhile & things that they get credit for!) And also by helping take care of the other children they get a lot of thanks & appreciation from their parents etc. because they are such a help to the family, they're such good kids & they do so much. But I'm talking about these bad teenagers, System teenagers, & why they get to be such a problem.
5. The highest crime rate—& this stat is from ages ago, it's probably even lower now—is between about 16 & 24! In other words, most of the violent crimes committed, going by U.S. statistics, at least, were by those between the ages of 16 & 24, particularly 18 & 24, older teenagers & young adults. The System kids just seem to go haywire at that age‚ & are bitter, rebellious, criminal & violent against their families & parents! That's the age when most patricides occur, crimes of killing parents etc.
6. That is the age when the parents & the teenagers disagree the most & fight & fuss the most in the System & get the most angry with each other, mostly because the kids do things that embarrass the parents & scandalise them. The parents are concerned about their "community image" with these young delinquents, so they often disown them just to get rid of them & to show the community that they don't approve. And the teenagers also rebel against their parents & virtually disown them because they don't approve of them either!
7. That's an age group in the System I'm familiar with, since I used to be a highschool teacher & had a lot of experience with them & with their parents too! Oh me! I found almost always when we had a teenage delinquent problem & the parents came storming down‚ it turned out the parents were the worst of the delinquents & they were the ones responsible for their child's behaviour! The kids just reflected the misbehaviour & misdeeds & mis-everything of their parents! So I found that if the kids were little tyrants, it turned out their parents were bigger tyrants! Thank God for the Family, where most of our kids are very good & our teenagers really take responsibility & really work hard & really understand, are helpful to their parents & are helpful in their work & help on the witnessing & care of the other children! It's really wonderful, thank the Lord!
8. I think as our sub-teens are becoming teenagers, like Mikol & others like her‚ & like we have here etc.‚ they really begin to reach out even beyond their personal little family circle towards others & the rest of the World. This is a time when in the System many kids run away from home, they want to see what the rest of the World is like & all that, & get into all kinds of trouble!
9. They're beginning to have a feeling, I really believe it is God-implanted, of wanting to reach out to the rest of the World, sort of a feeling of community & World responsibility beyond their own little tight personal family circle. They begin to feel a feeling of empathy with other teenagers, really kind of a World-consciousness, so they feel a real bond with other teenagers of other families etc.
10. It's amazing how the Lord has made them want to start to reach out to others besides their own little clique & family. They want to really feel they're a part of the rest of the World‚ & in our Family, the rest of the Family‚ the worldwide Family. They really appreciate a little attention & concern & interest to help them with their problems because they have so many problems in growing up! They're still really children at heart, but their bodies have gotten big & adult-size. They still don't have enough adult wisdom sometimes & they still have childish childhood problems many times.
11. So I think they really appreciate some of these new stories that we're getting out about them, sort of as heros & heroines & role models, "teenage idols", as the World calls them, because in the World they worship them! Well, Heaven's Girl is not an idol & she is not intended to be worshipped, but we hold her up as an example of what youth should be like & what they could be & also as a real guidance, behavioural guidance etc.
12. (Maria: When I was that age, around 12, 13 & 14, I read all those Christian romances, & actually that's what they were supposed to be: Examples of the ideal Christian young person & their love affairs & the problems & joys related to them. It made you feel like you wanted to do what they did & be like them.) They had a lot of Christian fiction for young people in those days & now the Lord is leading us into that sort of thing in order to give them good feeding reading. It was very edifying & very feeding, it was about what kids are interested in, romance & excitement & adventure, but it was all real idealistic & Christian.
13. So I believe the Lord is really leading us in the right direction & feeding them these true-to-life stories of other young people & teenagers etc. because we are going to have a lot of them on our hands pretty soon & they really need inspiration & guidance, role models‚ & also good spiritual food‚ which is included in all of them!
14. It is very important that these be really deeply spiritual for the guidance of our young people! We're leading these young people by what we say & do in the Story!