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GIVING TEENS RESPONSIBILITY!--By Maria Maria # 210 DO 2895 2/93

1. In the jobs we give our young people, we should give them enough responsibility to make them feel trusted & challenged. Let the kids be creative in their jobs! Try to make it a pioneer situation for them, even if it's a job right there at Home. Let it be a spot where they can exercise vision & initiative, courage, faith & perseverance. In any job, we need to make sure our kids have enough freedom that they can pioneer, so they can be in that spirit & exercise those qualities & be truly challenged.
2. Of course, it takes faith to give the teens more freedom & more responsibility. Even our more mature teens often haven't been tested yet & may not have been given responsibility to see whether they are capable of carrying it out. But that's where we have to be willing to launch out & to give them that opportunity to succeed or fail, as the case might be. Even if they fail, they can learn valuable things from their failure & do a more responsible job the next time. And of course somebody has to be there to catch them when they fall, & do a little damage control if need be, in a tactful, full-of-faith way.
3. One big advantage to small Homes, as has been pointed out before, is that their need for personnel is so great that they don't hesitate to give adult responsibilities to the teens. They're desperate enough that they have to do it & the teens seem to be able to carry that responsibility beautifully, just as well as the adults. However, although the small Homes may do better on giving jobs & the responsibilities to the teens, that does not always mean that they give those teens the same respect & dignity & consideration that they afford to the adults in the Home.
4. It would seem that when teens have proven their worth & their capability, they would also earn that respect. But unfortunately in some cases, old habits die hard & the adults have a hard time accepting a teen as a full-fledged member of the team. Often it seems that the teen is given the responsibility but not the full-fledged authority to carry out that responsibility. He has the job but he's still not allowed to make the very important decisions that should go along with it.
5. While he does all the work, somebody else makes all the decisions, like the situation we heard about of the teens carrying the full load of working in the kitchen, yet having to check with overseers for every little daily decision. They should have probably been free to make their own food schedules, their own shopping lists, make changes in the kitchen that they felt were necessary & would be more efficient, & just check with an overseer for additional information or counsel if needed.
6. When we move into a new home, Techi is usually the one who cleans the kitchen, then sets it up & organises it. She decides where the different foods go, chooses the cupboards, figures out where would be the best place for the plates, glasses, silver, pots & pans etc.--And she's getting very good at it! Sometimes she needs help in the fine-tuning of the organisation, in which case we bring these points to her attention. Other times, since she works a lot in the kitchen, we let her find out for herself what works well & what doesn't; it's a matter of letting her set up her own work area in the way she prefers to use it. She also counsels with others who work in the kitchen, but since she has had training in setting up new kitchens, she now can take the responsibility to do this on her own.
7. A lot of our teens have been given a great deal of responsibility, but without the authority to go with it, & that's what really bothers them & grates on them. They are given the big work load without being able to have any say in it or about it, which is no fun, because they can't be creative, they can't find solutions to problems, they can't change things. They can feel really trapped under a bunch of rules dictated from someone above them.
8. It doesn't do much good to delegate responsibilities to someone if we don't give them the authority to carry them out. Most of us went through our System school years without much authority or decision-making experiences. We learned to follow the rules & carry out what we were told, & in a sense we became good followers, but we didn't really learn to lead well that way or to make decisions or to understand how things operated. If we really want our teens to learn & grow, & I believe this is the heart's desire of our adults, then we'll have to give them responsibility & the authority to go along with it, & support them in that responsibility, & give them the respect they deserve.
9. And dear young people, if you want the adults to not talk down to you, to trust you, & to give you more responsibility & authority, you are going to have to do your part. Just remember, it's not all the adults' fault that your communication & unity is less than perfect. We're just emphasising the adults' part here because we believe that some of these things we are bringing out may be things they haven't understood. We believe you teens already understand how you should be acting towards the adults, but it's just difficult for you to have the grace to do so when they respond to you in certain ways. But now, when the adults try to change & respond to you as co-workers & teamworkers, you need to ask the Lord to help you be worthy of their respect. You are going to have to, in good faith, live up to their expectations & do all you can to act the way you want to be treated--like adults.
10. Jesus, we do pray for our adults, that you will help them learn ways to show respect for our teens. Help them to have the faith to give them responsibility & authority & to support them in their important jobs. Help them learn to not use demeaning or belittling speech, but instead to say things that are uplifting, encouraging, & that show respect for their calling. Encourage our adults that they can make this change with Your help, as they call out to You, & apply themselves, & do what they can do to make the change. Help our young people, Jesus, to turn to You for Your anointing in living up to the trust that the adults are placing in them. Help us all to learn to show more love & respect to each other in every way, as we obey Your commandment to love one another as You have loved us, in Jesus' name, amen.
"{\ul \i Your} Love didn't fail us, Lord. Help {\ul \i our} love not to fail others, who look to us for love & for our word of encouragement & inspiration. Help our love not to fail anyone, not even our own, Jesus. {\ul \i You've} not failed {\ul \i us}, Lord, help {\ul \i us} not to fail {\ul \i others}" (DB1, ML#639, pg.88).

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