When a car sits and idles, it is wasting gas, making unnecessary noise and going nowhere. It is a similar condition with many teenagers today who have too much time on their hands and don’t realize that the talents they have are both unrealized and wasting away. Too often we hear the plaintive cry—kids have no down time, they are running here and there. They hardly have time to eat, much less do homework.
All heat, no light
We don’t buy it. There may be a few teens whose time is in high demand because they know who they are and what they have to offer. They are in control, and they have learned how to prioritize their responsibilities. Too many other youngsters, however, are just busy creating a lot of heat but no light. They are busy being busy and have little to show for their efforts. Oh, they crave attention, but they get it by running with a loud and directionless crowd. Their world is encapsulated within the boundaries of the bunch. They won’t go very far.
Out of the man cave into the light!
Dad, you need to spring into action and help those aimless teens break free of their bonds. You can do it, along with other dads in your community and school. Form a neighborhood “Daring Dads.” Stroll the streets on a weeknight or a Saturday. When you encounter a group of idle, time-killing teens, challenge them to a game of basketball or touch football. Start a conversation. Tell them to call home, leave a message, then put their phones in their pocket. If you hit the court, review some rules and play ball! If the dads win, they have to treat the opponents to ice cream and schedule a rematch. If the dads lose, same thing—ice cream and a rematch. Now you got it goin’!
Dare to start a movement
In the meantime, talk to other dads in schools and churches and help them form a “Daring Dads” group. Pretty soon, the talk of the town will be these weird dads going around the community challenging teens to engage. Word will spread. Contact the media. Maybe the idea will catch on, and “Daring Dads” will become a force with which to deal. Take the idea into the realm of street drama, music, art and dance. Find adults who have skills in these areas and turn them loose.
Dad, this will take some time and effort. But what an investment. Kids who otherwise would be holding down the sidewalk on street corners will be engaged in a positive activity, and they will keep wanting more. Suddenly, dad, you will transform lives.