Watching this commercial a couple of times tonight made me laugh and it made me think. Obviously Fedex is trying to capitalize on the the youth market-while making fun of those who try to bridge the divide between the generations.
It made me think, do I do this in order to communicate with my teens and those teens I'm around. Oh, I joke from time to time with "slang" they use, but never meaning for them to think that this is really me. (I'm known to give a "Wassup, Wassup" every once in a while to teen) and certainly my own teens find it a little awkward for Dad to talk like that.
What I've found in working with teens is that they really want to communicate with you in very simple ways. You don't have to speak the lingo to get into their world.
Here's what I've found:
1.) They want to know that someone cares---they simply want to know that other adults are acknowledging their "morphing" into adulthood and we can do that in ways that affirm who God is creating them to be. Just by knowing their name (or their nickname) may be enough for them.
2.) They want you to know what they like and they don't like. Facebook has been once of the best ways to keep up with kids and their activities--and to also know who they're with and who they shouldn't be with. If I had only had Facebook when I was doing youth ministry--no tellling the connections that could have been made.
3.) They want to know that you will be there for them. In little ways I try to let them know that I'm here and I'm around and ready to listen to them. And believe me, there have been those who have sought me out because of the simple invitation to just listen. Never underestimate the importance of letting them know that you are around and available.
4.) They want to know that you want the best for them. They really want approval and acceptance for what's going on in their lives. And I suspec that they even want your opinion (even when it's negative and they complain) because this helps them clarify their judgement and their values.
So,laugh at this video and think with me "Do You Speak The Lingo?" I don't think you have to in order to get through to the next generation. Make yourself available and watch them come to you.