I spent eleven years as a high school counselor so I was not surprised by an article I recently read. According to the article, many high school students spend two hours or more each night doing homework. If they are involved in any extra-curricular activities such as music, drama or sports, the result can be a full schedule. The end result is the stress level among high school students can be high. Ten to twelve hours days for high school student might not be uncommon. That is something that parents and those who work with teens need to keep in mind.
For those trying to minister to teens in a church setting it can be frustrating. They spend time building relationship with middle school years students. After confirmation they invest a couple of years equipping them to be leaders within the youth group, only to see them do a disappearing act once they become high school juniors. The same students who are leaders in the church youth group also are leaders at school. Unfortunately one reality is their schedule leaves little time for church youth activities. It underscores the need to find alternative ways to stay in touch with them.
For parents it means learning to be flexible and maximizing the limited time we do have with our teens. It also means not adding to the pressure by imposing our needs on them. We also need to understand the difference between being a manager and being a consultant. We cannot expect to manage their lives for them. As they get ready for life on their own that is a skill they need to learn. When they ask for advice or counsel it means providing it and then stepping back.
The one consistent element should be prayer. We must be constant in our prayers for both their safety and their spiritual well-being.