Tag Archives: Truth

Touching the Hearts of Teenagers

Touching the Hearts of Teenagers

 Listed below is a true story about an interaction I had with teenagers in a Juvenile Detention Center. I had an opportunity to volunteer my time in a Juvenile Detention Center for 22 years. Working with troubled teenagers changed my career.  Now, I am working with parents, teens, teachers and youth workers to provide strategies to connect with teenagers in the 21st century. Listed below is a story taken from my book Behind the Eyes of Juvenile Delinquents. 

How quickly a heart can be touched

I had an opportunity to visit Jeffery, Duke, Robert, Parker, and Jamal in their unit at the Juvenile Detention Center to read some of the things written in the manuscript Behind the Eyes of Juvenile Delinquents.  When I arrived in the unit, Jeffery, Duke and Jamal were playing cards. Robert and Parker were watching the movie “Spawn” on television.  There were four other young men locked in their rooms for discipline.

Jeffery, Duke and Jamal slowly stopped playing cards and Robert stopped watching television and came to listen to the story as I read.  Then Jeffery, Duke, Jamal and Robert became angry with Parker because he continued to watch television.  They told me Parker worshipped Satan.  I asked the other boys to “leave him alone because Parker was serving his master.  I said, “You tell me you love God but yet you are not serving him.  If you were serving him, more than likely you would not be in the Detention Center.  I wish you were as faithful to God as Parker was to his master.  You are in worse shape than Parker because you know the truth and refuse to live by the truth.”

After those words were spoken, everyone calmed down.  I then continued to read from the manuscript Behind the Eyes of Juvenile Delinquents to Jeffery, Duke, Jamal and Robert.  They were captivated by the words being read because they knew it was about them and me.   They just took it all into their minds as they sat and listened intently.  It’s difficult to describe what I felt.  What struck me most was Parker who had his back turned to us? He got out of his chair, went behind our backs to lie on top of the ping pong table near us.  A glance from the corner of my left eye showed that we now had Parker’s attention.  Parker asked, “Where did you get that information from?”  I told Parker I got the information from the youth in the Detention Center.  Robert said, “He wrote it himself as if he was proud of me.”

Parker continued to lie on the table as I read from the manuscript.  As we continued, to my surprise, Parker got a chair and sat right in front of us.  He listened intently as I continued to read with a smile on my face.  Before I knew it, time was up.

As I was leaving the unit, Parker told me that “he didn’t serve Satan but was trying to determine the right way to go.”  I told him “I understood and hoped he would start going to church.”  Then Parker proceeded to tell me he was going to attend church in the Detention Center.  He also wanted to know when I was going to read the rest of the manuscript to them.

Well, I looked for Parker on the following Tuesday evening but he did not show up.  I told the others to tell Parker I inquired about him.  On Sunday Parker showed up in church.  I was elated to see him.  I never considered that the words I read would have an impact on Parker’s life, but one should never be surprised about the operation of the Holy Spirit.  If no one else reads this book, I  will always cherish the words spoken by Parker.  I hope he will make the correct choices.  I did not force my beliefs on him or try to debate with him.  Parker said he was rebelling against his parents and that he grew up in the church.  I hope he will turn his life over to Jesus Christ.

source: Behind the Eyes of Juvenile Delinquents,

(c) EnviCare Consulting, Inc.   All Rights Reserved

Mothers and Fathers Share Reasons Children Don’t Tell Parents the Truth When Teens Are in Trouble

Mothers and Fathers Share Reasons Children Don’t Tell Parents the Truth When Teens Are in Trouble

I wrote a previous article on “Why Children Don’t Tell Parents the Truth When in Trouble “. In the article, I focused on teenagers’ perspectives on the issue of not telling the truth. This article contains parents’ perspectives on adolescents’ wiliness not to speak the truth to their mother and father. During the discussion with the parents, they were very engaged in sharing their thoughts regarding the question listed below:

Why teenagers don’t tell parents the truth when they are in trouble?

Debbie’s perspectives:

  1. Children are afraid of being discipline
  2. Parents won’t understand why the adolescent got in trouble
  3. Parents will yell and scream at the teen
  4. Teens are afraid of being grounded and punishment

Ted’s perspectives:

  1. Youngster believe they can resolve their own problems
  2. Child fear of disappointing their parents
  3. Children scared of possible punishment

Albert’s perspectives

  1. Teens are afraid of punishment
  2. Children know they have let their parents down
  3. Adolescents think they can handle it without parents help
  4. Teens don’t want to hear you yell at them

Kathy’s perspectives

  1. Some children are afraid of their parents response
  2. It’s hard for some teenagers to trust their parents
  3. Teens thinks they can get away with it
  4. Some adolescent lack communication skills

Henry’s Perspectives

  1. Children don’t tell parents the truth when they’re in trouble because they are afraid of consequence
  2. Teens don’t have faith that their mothers and fathers will understand
  3. Children think it will blow over

 Wilma’s Perspectives

  1. Parents will try to change their opinion
  2. They think they can fix and hide the truth before parents find out

Pauline’s Perspectives

  1. Teens are afraid of what the parents are going to say
  2. Teenagers may feel that their parents are going to be disappointed in them
  3. The youngsters don’t want to be punished

Carrie’s Perspective

  1. Teens are afraid of how the parent will react
  2. Teens are embarrassed about what they did.
  3. Teens are scared of consequences

Hope’s perspectives

  1. My child doesn’t tell me the truth for fear of how I will overreact
  2. Teens are afraid of consequences
  3. Kids don’t won’t to disappoint parents

Lee’s Perspective

  1. Teens don’t want to upset parents
  2. Children don’t want to have parents lose trust
  3. Adolescents don’t want to lose privileges
  4. They are ashamed or embarrassed

 Advise for parents and teenagers

The parents’ responses were very accurate and collaborated with the teenagers’ perspective as to why they don’t tell parents the truth when they are in trouble.  The million dollar question is why is it difficult for parents to respond to their children with compassion when the teen lies.

I believe parents yell and scream because of shock, and disappointment in their child’s behavior. Many parents are very surprised and never believed their adolescent would have purposefully chosen to get in trouble.  Sometimes parents purposely ignore the signs that their teen is doing something wrong as if it will go away but it won’t. The issue must be address right away. There are some parents who just don’t care but I believe most parents care how they respond to their teenagers’ negative behavior.

Teens, I encourage you to get more engaged with your parents and always tell them the truth. Please consider applying the seventeen (17) steps below to telling the truth when you are in trouble:

  1. Tell your parents the truth regardless of the consequences or punishments
  2. Don’t’ be afraid of your parents or being grounded
  3. Don’t try to handle the problem by yourself
  4. Place faith in your parents
  5. Never believe the problem will blow over
  6. Approach your parents with a humbled heart to tell them the truth
  7. Tell your parents you are in trouble before they hear the bad news from someone else
  8. Communicate your feelings with respect to your parents
  9. Avoid telling half trues to your mother or father because it won’t make life easier
  10. Don’t’ fear that your parents will be upset about you being in trouble ( A concerned parent will be upset)
  11. Be prepared to know your parents might respond by yelling and screaming
  12. Don’t shut down while communicating with your parents when they overreact to the situation
  13. Admit that your behavior was wrong
  14. Don’t blame your peers or others for your poor decision
  15. Apologize to your parents for making the wrong choices
  16. Love your parents unconditionally
  17. Ask for forgiveness and immediately start making better choices

Teens, it is wise to invest these seventeen (17) steps in your life. Why, you will be more enthusiastic about speaking the truth to your parents when you are in trouble.  Your parents love you very much. If your parents can help, please contact a relative, or school counselor or youth organization that willing to help. You should always communicate the truth to your parents when you are in trouble.

Written By:  Billy J. Strawter, Sr

© 2012 EnviCare Consulting, Inc.                               All Rights Reserved