There is a fascinating study that just came out and I recommend you taking a read at the summary article here. You will find that it highlights and debunks some common myths regarding the spirituality of the emerging adult generation. I wanted to key in on one of the myths (after the jump):
Myth 2: Emerging adults reject their parents’ religious influence.
As children approach the teenage years, their parents anticipate conflict. Because many parents worry about dragging their teens to church against their will, many resign themselves to parental irrelevance. Yet Smith and Snell find that most emerging adults fall into their parents’ religious patterns one way or another. Still, parents are slow to realize they need to change how they relate to foster maturity and independence.
“So just at the time when teenagers most need engaged parents to help them work out a whole series of big questions about what they believe, think, value, feel, are committed to, and want to be and become, in many cases, their parents are withdrawing from them,” Smith and Snell lament.
Consider what this means. Instead of walking away from your kid during their teen years to “give them space” you need to engage with them on an even deeper level. To do so though requires that you are willing to begin the process of seeing them as peers. At this time in their lives they don’t need you hand holding, coddling, or preaching at them. They need you to engage them as you would other adults and talk with them about where they are in their journey and come alongside them in it. Finally, they need to see you living out your faith authentically.