Lent ideas for teens


#1

Just curious as to if you have any good ideas for Lent sacrifices and commitments that a teen could do? I have some ideas but I don't want to decide *for my kids, but here are some suggestions I made to them:

*stop bickering (they don't think they can do this one for long lol) :rolleyes:
*pray Divine Chaplet as a family every day (they liked this one)
*give up video games for the duration of Lent, or most days of the week (they're dwelling on that one)
*do volunteer work at parish

I was wondering for those parents here with teens, what have your kids decided to do for Lent this year?*


#2

[quote="whatevergirl, post:1, topic:186219"]
Just curious as to if you have any good ideas for Lent sacrifices and commitments that a teen could do? I have some ideas but I don't want to decide *for my kids, but here are some suggestions I made to them:

*stop bickering (they don't think they can do this one for long lol) :rolleyes:
*pray Divine Chaplet as a family every day (they liked this one)
*give up video games for the duration of Lent, or most days of the week (they're dwelling on that one)
*do volunteer work at parish

I was wondering for those parents here with teens, what have your kids decided to do for Lent this year?*

[/quote]

Give up video games? Wow.

One thing I LOVE about this list is instead of giving up something, they can be actively doing something-like the volunteer work. That's a fantastic idea.

I strongly support the volunteer option.


#3

well i'm a teen myself, and i've found that most teens (including myself) have a facebook or myspace. Either of those 2 are HUGE time-wasters, and giving them up would leave plenty of time for more productive and spiritual activities (like volunteering!) Also, depending on how old the teens are, giving up partying would be appropriate for the sacrificial nature of lent :thumbsup:


#4

[quote="pcg2, post:3, topic:186219"]
well i'm a teen myself, and i've found that most teens (including myself) have a facebook or myspace. Either of those 2 are HUGE time-wasters, and giving them up would leave plenty of time for more productive and spiritual activities (like volunteering!) Also, depending on how old the teens are, giving up partying would be appropriate for the sacrificial nature of lent :thumbsup:

[/quote]

*They don't have myspace or FB...but, the online gaming (PS3), and instant messaging online is big for them...my son said he could ''cut down'' on that, because that is where he spends his time, if he is online for something.

And there's no partying here! lol My kids are 13 and 17...our son has always hung out with kids in groups, and is pretty cautious...reserved. So, thankfully, haven't had issues with partying. But, good points and I meant to say in my opening thread...

TEENS ARE WELCOME HERE TO ADD THEIR OPINIONS ALSO OF WHAT THEIR LENT PLANS ARE THIS YEAR. Thanks. :)*


#5

#6

My son said too he'd like to do something during Lent that he could see himself sticking with. I made the suggestion about confession monthly, and reading the Bible daily. He's thinking about those idea...he goes to confession with me at times, but on most occasions, drags his feet. I don't press him to come, but he does like to go more frequently during Lent. He likes the *feeling he has afterwards, but maybe that would be a good thing to do...to get over that angst, or whatever it is he has, when thinking of going to confession. If he goes often enough, that will dissipate. I think many of us can attest to that.

Plus, those are ideas that will last with a person a lifetime. I used to not read the Bible daily, and a few Lents back, I decided to do that, and now, it's stuck with me. So, I see where he is coming from with what he wants this year to 'be about.' *


#7

I'd suggest picking up a copy or two of "Safe Fasting For Teens"

liguori.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=10979


#8

*Hey kage...perfect. Thank you for that idea. *


#9

After reading Russell Shaw’s Does Suffering Make Sense? I’ve decided to emphasize the sacraficial aspect of our faith. Suffering in the world is a huge aspect, and I think I want to teach my children how vital it is in our sanctification…even small suffering. After all, our Lord suffered tremendously for our sins (and continues to) and that is part of the salvation message of Lent and Easter.

I’m going to encourage my 17 to sacrafice computer time. Giving up video games was much too easy for him last time! (His words, not mine!) I’ll also suggest fast foods. He drives now, and loves to pick up a shake at McD’s

My 13 yo will be harder. She doesn’t like chocolate, she doesn’t play on the computer or video games…I’d love to read some more ideas! I hope she knows what her vices.


#10

*Hi MomaMary;

Our kids are the same ages. So your son thought giving up video games was too easy? lol That’s interesting, huh? I have a 13 yr old daughter…and she said she will read the Bible more (my suggestion)…and she will do chores without being asked. (repeatedly asked!) lol That is her suggestion. I hope these last past Lent! :smiley:

Might that fit for your dd as well? *


#11

I think all your suggestions are great! I especially like the divine mercy chaplet one and the charity work. I’m planning on giving up sugar and meat for Lent this year.


#12

[quote="whatevergirl, post:10, topic:186219"]
*Hi MomaMary;

Our kids are the same ages. So your son thought giving up video games was too easy? lol That's interesting, huh? I have a 13 yr old daughter...and she said she will read the Bible more (my suggestion)...and she will do chores without being asked. (repeatedly asked!) lol That is her suggestion. I hope these last past Lent! :D

Might that fit for your dd as well? *

[/quote]

One thing, the thing we do should be penitential, it should be something that is unpleasant and that causes us to suffer a bit. Reading the Bible should be a thing we do with joy. Not that it is bad start reading more Scripture, but, it does not really "fit the bill" for one's Lenten Penance.


#13

I've known teens to do these things for Lent:

Give up fast food
Give up red meat
Give up hot showers/baths
Sleep without blankets or sleep on the floor

One of the ideas in the Safe Fasting for Teens is to "unplug".

No MP3, no CDs, computer only for school, no videos, nothing that runs on electricity and entertains us.


#14

[quote="kage_ar, post:12, topic:186219"]
One thing, the thing we do should be penitential, it should be something that is unpleasant and that causes us to suffer a bit. Reading the Bible should be a thing we do with joy. Not that it is bad start reading more Scripture, but, it does not really "fit the bill" for one's Lenten Penance.

[/quote]

So true, kage...but I think with my kids, they *forget a lot...and maybe finding that daily time to do just that, would be somewhat unpleasant, at first anyways. Not the actual Bible reading part, but the setting aside quiet time just for that, at first, anyways. *


#15

*I really want to get this book…it sounds great. Really great. *


#16

That's it!!! Kage...you have given me a great idea to pass on to them. When I said that about reading the Bible...you are right, it is a joy. But, the part that will be unpleasant, is finding that quiet time to ''unplug'' as you say the books states...and just spend it praying, reading the Bible...with the Lord. That is it! **Finding quiet time.* We live in such a noisy world...some folks I know just turn the tv on the second they walk in the house after work, to hear something. haha So...I think that by tuning out the noise of life, it will help them tune into God more...in the quiet time they carve out. I could hug you, kage:o...thank you. They will like this, I have a feeling. *


#17

I am only passing on what a wise priest told me :)

Hugs back, and may you find the silence.


#18

Since you were interested in ideas from teens as well, i thought i'd put my .02 in.

I'm 18, and for the last 2 years, I've "gone old school" and completely given up meat for lent. I know it would be much more difficult in a family that eats meals together regularly, but with my family's busy schedule, most nights its fend for yourself, so I didn't have to worry about inconveniencing everyone. I was careful about it, making sure to eat more peanut butter and fish (yuck!) and actually remembered to take my vitamins. It had a side affect too, because each week when we would go grocery shopping, if i wanted to get, say, some extras, like canned veggie soup or veggie burgers (a penance in their own right), i would end up trading a "snack food" like oreos or pudding for the veggie extra so i didn't affect the grocery bill significantly.

I also would make sure to pray the rosary every day (which eventually got me into the habit and I continued that past lent)

Although it doesn't apply to your kids, I want to throw the Facebook/myspace thing out there as well, for any others interested. I didn't last year, but about 75% of my friends (from my small all girls catholic high school) did. Wow was it quiet those 40 days!

giving up soda is always a popular choice, as is sweets. lol, I actually have a harder time giving up the sweets then I do meat!

Hope this helps some :)


#19

My son is funny, he can pick up and drop a habit so fast! Its strange. As soon as I say something about being “too much,” and he needs to cut back he does! He seems to have wonderful self control. :slight_smile:

lol, doing more chores would definitly fit the penitential aspect for my dd! Right now I feel like I’m asking more of her than normal because of my pregnancy. She and her sister have been super-helpful lately. I’d hate to suggest that, and make her think I don’t notice her extra work lately.


#20

Mine have given up 'screens' during the week for the past few years (this was originally very much pushed by dh and I). It does make for a lot of quiet time!

They also give up sweets, which is a family tradition (we've been doing that one since the beginning of time). :D

I think they are definately old enough to pick their own penances, but dd is a bit scrupulous, so I'm always careful about making suggestions. The priest who leads the youth group is really wonderful so I'm waiting to see what he suggests to the kids.

I know that as children grow into teens and into a more mature faith, they need to start making individual decisions about this sort of thing, but when we are all doing the same penances/prayers it feels so much like we are a community (more than a family) rather than having everyone going their own way. Hard to explain what I mean.


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