The Power of “Me Too”

The Power of “Me Too”

Earlier this week, we held our 2nd annual Teen Lifeline Fundraising Dinner & Auction, and I am still blown away by the generosity and support that come from this night. One of my favorite parts of the night came when Beverly Ross spoke truth over the audience.

If you haven’t heard of Beverly Ross or Wise County Christian Counseling, I would encourage you to go check them out!

At this dinner, Beverly Ross challenged us by saying, “We need to teach our children that it’s not going to be okay. It’s going to be hard, but you’re never going to do it alone.”

Until she said this, I had never thought about the danger of saying, “It’s going to be okay!” When little kids are upset, we tell them it will be okay. When someone dies, we say that it will be okay eventually. In those teenage years, we talk about their future and that everything will be better – friends, parent relationships, school, drama, their purpose…the list could go on and on.

But can we guarantee that everything will be okay? That things will get better?

We cannot promise that their life will be perfect or happy or even “okay,” but we can promise the teenagers around us that when it gets hard, when life is less than okay, that they will have someone to walk with them. They are not alone. They don’t have to struggle by themselves.

This is the power of Teen Lifeline Support Groups! More than anything, they provide a safe place for teenagers to talk about things that are both okay and not okay. They give perspective and understanding for other people’s struggles. They make sure that every teen participating has at least one adult and a group of peers to do life with.

As Beverly said, there are few words more powerful than “me too!” In the midst of pain, heartache, struggles, questions and life in general, teenagers need to be surrounded by others who can say, “Me too!”

“Me too” implies understanding and acceptance.

Think back to your teenage years. Did you ever feel alone, different, lost? What would have happened if someone had looked you in the eye and said, “Me too.”

Let’s stop making empty promises to our children. Telling them that it’s going to be okay is not helpful for anyone when you can’t actually guarantee what their future is going to look like. What is helpful is giving them a chance to meet and be encouraged by others who understand what they are going through. No fixing is required. You don’t have to have all of the answers, but take the time to listen and respond with, “Me too.”

So, what do you think? How has the phrase, “Me too,” impacted your life? What can we say instead of, “It’s going to be okay?” Share your thoughts and stories with us!

Karlie Duke was in one of Teen Lifeline’s original support groups and now is our Communications Director. She is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories.
Dr. Mark DeYoung Talks Anxiety

Dr. Mark DeYoung Talks Anxiety

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How to help a teenager with anxiety

What is anxiety? And how can we help a teenager with anxiety? These questions are more are answered in an interview Dr. Mark DeYoung.

We are shedding light on a topic that can be easily misunderstood. Don’t overlook teen anxiety or panic. There are steps that you can take today!

[bctt tweet=”Teens need our ears more than they need our advice. // @teenlife_ngo @drmarkdeyoung” username=””]

In this episode, you’ll find out…

  • What is anxiety?
  • How anxiety is different from depression.
  • How anxiety specifically affects teenagers.
  • Some symptoms of anxiety to keep an eye on.
  • Coping skills that teens lack and how to help them succeed.

Ask yourself…

  • Am I really listening or just offering advice?
  • How can I help take some pressure off of teenagers?
  • Am I modeling positive boundaries and stress coping skills in my own life?
Teens need our ears more than they need our advice.
Dr. Mark DeYoung

Go ask a teen…

  • I’ve noticed that you’ve been acting different. What’s going on?
  • What boundaries can you put in place to take some stress off?
  • When you feel anxious, what is a positive thing that seems to help?

Resources:

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us

Dr. Mark DeYoung

Dr. Mark DeYoung

Special Guest

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

Let’s be friends.

More Resources You Might Like

Episode 103 Anxiety & Gap Years
Episode 19: Back to School Anxiety and Simone Biles
Title Image: Depression & Lemon8

Carrie Gurley Talks Dating Violence

Carrie Gurley Talks Dating Violence

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What can we do about dating violence?

Dating violence is something we often hear about but don’t know what to do. Surely I don’t know a teenager in an abusive relationship! In this episode, Carrie Gurley defines dating violence and gives tips for how we can become more educated and better prepared to walk teenagers through difficult relationships. Aren’t sure where to start with dating violence? Don’t panic!

Never underestimate the influence you can have in a teen’s life just because you care!

In this episode, you’ll find out…

  • What dating violence is and how it is seen among teenagers.
  • Ways to teenagers can be protected from abusive relationships.
  • Some ways to support a teen who is in a violent relationship.
  • Warning signs that a teenager might be in an unhealthy relationship.
  • Long term consequences because of dating violence.

Ask yourself…

  • Have I noticed any concerning changes in the behavior of a teen?
  • Am I willing to listen without judgment?

Go ask a teen…

  • What boundaries have you put on your relationship? How is that going?
  • Does your school talk about dating violence?
  • What would you do if your best friend was in a violent relationship?

About Us

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Carrie Gurley

Carrie Gurley

Special Guest

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

Follow Us

Helping When It Hurts

Helping When It Hurts

I just got back from serving with LiveBeyond in Thomazeau, Haiti, where poverty, starvation, sickness and Satan can be seen at every corner. While I was still processing this level of hurt and pain, I came home to the injustice of the Orlando shooting.

Hurt has so many different faces.

Hurt looks like scrubbing a tiny Haitian head that is covered in ringworm. Hurt looks like hundreds of people mourning the loss of loved ones to gunshots. Hurt looks like students feeling unsafe at their schools because of bullies. Hurt looks like shoeless feet traveling miles to receive medical care. Hurt looks like a nation crying out after acts of hate and prejudice. Hurt looks like a teenager struggling after his parents go through a painful divorce.

Hurt can be overwhelming and sometimes it is easier to do nothing rather than wade into the unknown of pain. However, if there is anything that I have learned while in Haiti, it is that we cannot simply sit back and stay quiet. If not us, then who?

But where do we start? How can I help people that are miles, states or even nations away?

There isn’t an easy or fix-it-all answer, but hopefully these can provide a good starting place for how to help in the midst of hurt:

Focus on the person in front of you.

Are you far away from Orlando or Haiti? Unless you have time off and money for a plane ticket, that is probably not going to change, but you can love on that neighbor who is also struggling. Or you can tell a friend who feels targeted how sorry you are. You can take food to someone who has recently experienced loss, or volunteer with a local organization.

When there is a tragedy or when the hurt and pain is too overwhelming, start by loving the person directly in front of you. Don’t freeze. Don’t turn around and run. By focusing on one person at a time, you are making a difference in a manageable way! Once you have made that person in front of you feel loved and heard, move on to another person and do the same for them!

Find ways to encourage from afar.

Technology has made it incredibly easy to connect with people in other states, countries or continents! If you can’t stand in front of someone who is hurting, find ways to encourage them from where you are. Here are a few ideas of how to help from your own home:

  • Spend time in prayer for those that are hurting. For example, print off the names of those who died in Orlando – spend time specifically praying for their families by name.
  • Send letters, Facebook messages or care packages. Find those who are affected or maybe those who are living in areas where they are interacting with hurting people and encourage them with words and thoughtful gestures!
  • Support organizations who are helping those in need. Even if you only have $10 a month, you can partner with an organization and make a difference in the lives of those who are hurting.

Take up the cause of the oppressed.

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 22:16

Since I am a Christian, the message of this verse is very clear – if I want to know God, it is my job to defend the poor and needy.

If you are not motivated by Christianity or a sense of higher calling, you can still stand in the gap for those who have no one else to defend them or speak on their behalf.

This does not mean that you need to go on a 2,000 word Facebook rant to shame those who act out in hate, but instead think about how you can offer your thoughts, prayers and encouragement in a short, positive post. Maybe defending their cause means bringing hope and understanding into a conversation of condemnation.

For me, it means talking about the organizations and people I love (like Teen Lifeline & LiveBeyond) whenever possible. I can share the struggles and challenges of teenagers and the people of Haiti. I can bring awareness and recruit others to join their cause.

So, I am asking you to join me. Let’s not sit by and retreat in times of pain! Instead, let’s try to help in the midst of hurt. Do you have any other ideas of how to help in times of pain and hurt? We would love to hear them!

Karlie Duke was in one of Teen Lifeline’s original support groups and now is our Communications Director. She is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories.
Don’t Panic about Grief with Beverly Ross

Don’t Panic about Grief with Beverly Ross

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Grief comes in many different forms, but it is something everyone deals with at some point in life. This episode, Chris and Karlie are joined by Beverly Ross to talk about the the basics of grief, what to expect from a grieving teenager and how we can better support teens who are grieving. Don’t panic about grief, there is a way to bring hope and encouragement to difficult circumstances!

[bctt tweet=”It takes courage & bravery to stand with someone in pain – step into what’s uncomfortable. @teenlife_ngo” via=”no”]

In this episode, you’ll find out…

  • Some of the unique ways teenagers deal with grief.
  • Advice about what can be said or done to better walk alongside a teen experiencing grief.
  • Signs that a teen might need to seek help from a professional.
  • Examples of grief-producers, especially for teenagers.
  • How to use the acronym PERS (Physical, Emotional, Relational, Spiritual) to positively cope with grief.
  • Ways we as a community can surround and encourage those who are grieving.

Ask yourself…

  • Am I putting too much pressure on myself to do or say the perfect thing?
  • Could this teenager be talking to someone else if they aren’t talking to me?
  • Am I aware of important dates that I need to remember and recognize?

Go ask a teen…

  • What do you need?
  • What is it like for you right now? Tell me your story.
  • What would you like to do for holidays? How would you like to hold space?

Resources on grief you might like

About Us

Beverly Ross

Beverly Ross

Special Guest

Chris Robey

Chris Robey

CEO

Karlie Duke

Karlie Duke

Director of Communications

Have a question?

If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!

Follow Us