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what i told juveniles at a detention facility

Posted in: teen talk, Youth Resiliency Started by

what i told juveniles at a detention facility

yesterday, i had the privilege to get behind bars– to share words of encouragement with over 20 juveniles at a local detention center out here in nevada. it was my fourth time at the same center. previously, i used to do a bit of this in singapore.

i told them that it is hard growing up these days. as a matter of fact, it has always been so, except that it just got a little more complicated.

i know that pretty well because i was also once a juvenile case, except that i missed detention narrowly. having survived those tough days, i came away with some lessons.

the key of my message based on my own lessons- that all young people must conduct themselves as firefighters. in order to overcome teenage troubles, they must be firefighters, fighting the fires of youth!

these fires are many and varied: drugs, alcohol, cyber crimes, pornography, vandalism, and so on. in order to fight these challenges, they must get real like firefighters.

it turns out everyone has some fires to fight. parents, teachers, counselors, grandpa and yes, even grandma. everyone has some challenge, some fire to extinguish. don’t wait, do it now!

5 ways to fight teenage fires with water.

# 1 what is burning and what is at stake?

before you fight a fire, you must know what is burning and what else is at stake. firefighters fight real fires which can burn down homes, but teenagers need to fight the temptation of joining gangs, doing drugs, getting involved with alcohol, pornography cyber crimes etc. such fires can cost them their reputation or their dreams in life.

#2 action is key to extinguishing a fire.

firefighters can’t sit around while the building burns down, they take must take action to extinguish the fires. so is the case with young people, they must take action to avoid letting drugs destroy their lives. they must take actions like staying focused in school, shunning bad friends and embracing good ones.

#3 tools are critical in fighting fires

firefighters can not fight fires without tools, and equipment like water nozzles, hoses, extinguishers and so on. the fire engine is full of tools. similarly, teenagers must identify the right tools to face teenage adversity with audacity.  in this case, a firefighter ‘s nozzle or an extinguisher is the parallel of a book with good ideas on how to deal with teenage challenges.

# 4 endure the heat

it takes courage to fight fires and it takes a lot of endurance to fight the smallest of fires. teenagers often face tremendous distractions that require them to be patient and endure the long years of maturity from 13 to 21. without endurance, they can get through the hostile and volatile years of youth.

#5 reach out for help.

very often firefighters do not have all the resources they need in one fire engine. in the face of a raging fire, they must call for support with respect to tools, personnel and supplies.  given that young people do not have all the tools and ideas they need to succeed in life, they too can reach out to friends, family or others to seek support.

if young people use this firefighters’ approach by using water,  i they can see significant breakthroughs in the face of teenage challenges (fires). fight that fire!