The Kids of Today…

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

The word teenager was invented in the 1950’sIntegrated Teen Dance. The post-WW2 generation had greater financial autonomy. A less-stringent sexual morality. College attendance was the mainstream expectation.

The greatest complaint of their parents was their penchant for listening and dancing to Rock and Roll music. An offshoot of African-American culture, Rock music threatened to break the stringent rules of a historically segregated America.

Granted, racial tension between Americans of Anglo and African background has not gone away. However, while today’s teens are not bucking legal or moral issues while engaging in interracial dating, they have pursued an activity that is causing their parents extreme consternation. Could it be sex? Drugs? Rock and Roll? The answer is…

Terrorism

Terrorism

A report from ABC News revealed that a teenager from Illinois was arrested while reportedly heading to the Middle East to join terrorist groups fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is not the first American teenager to attempt this. And, he has counterparts in Europe as well.

Why is ISIS so appealing to these teens? Avidan Milevsky does a scholarly analysis in The Huffington Post.

This recent phenomenon is not the exclusive domain of teenage boys looking for a testosterone-fueled adrenaline rush. An article in The New York Post features teenage girls who fell in love with terrorists and are now pregnant. RT News reported on girls as young as 14 and 15 running off for starry-eyed trysts with jihadists.

Teenage Jihadist PostergirlsLike Shakespeare’s starstruck lovers, these girls often meet with tragic endings. We read in the Independent Journal Review about 14- and 16-year old Austrian girls who ran away from their homes, presumably expecting a fairy tale fantasy life with Islamic State fighters. Sadly, those young girls are reportedly dead (see the corresponding story in The Daily Mail UK).

Here in the USA, ABC News Reporting features a Colorado woman who reportedly “fell in love” with an Islamic extremist and was arrested while attempting to join her cyber-lover overseas. Ironically, she was a member of a Christian church but, according to her Pastor, she became combative, vociferously expressing her change to Islam while refusing to leave that church. More in the following video:

CBS News released another report on Teenage girls from America and Europe flocking to ISIS. Take a look at this CBS video:

Could this suicidal move by these teens to chase terror groups be tantamount to their 50’s counterparts chasing Elvis, Chuck Berry, or Jerry Lee? Look at the progression:

  1. 1950’s
    • Doo Wop Music their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  2. 1960’s
    • Rock & Roll Music their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  3. 1970’s
    • Disco Music their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  4. 1980’s
    • MTV Music video their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  5. 1990’s
    • Pop Music their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  6. 2000’s
    • Rap Music their parents hate
    • Hairstyles their parents hate
  7. 2010’s
    • Music their parents tolerate
    • Hairstyles their parents tolerate

In case you missed it, we were just having a bit of fun with the above progression.

It might be worth reemphasizing that the teens of the 1950’s overwhelmingly survived their youthful indiscretions. However, the teens of today are dying on foreign soil while chasing what they may see as an adrenaline rush… or a sexual crush. And so, the big question… what do we do to stop this? The words of Avidan Milevsky ring true:

Confronting this new wave of terror will require a multidimensional approach. But understanding the inner workings of the adolescent world can provide some insight into why teens are making such drastic decisions and how to potentially offer them meaningful alternatives to satisfy their quest.

Talk with your kids. Pray with your kids. Be aware of what they are absorbing from the internet and other sources. It is not easy… but it is easier than having to bury them. Or, worse… to know that they have been killed and their body languishes in an unknown location.

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