Dads spend an average of about twenty-six minutes per day one-on-one with their kids when the kids are younger than twelve, but that number drops to less than nine minutes per day during the teenage years. The average amount of time that a mom spends with her kids when they’re young is about thirty-one minutes per day, but that number drops to about eleven minutes once the kids are teenagers. So as adults, we are spending almost two-thirds less time with teens at exactly the moment when they need more time with us.
A YMCA Teen and Parent Survey conducted by the Global Strategy Group found that the top concern of teenagers (outpacing all other fears and concerns) was “not having enough time together with parents.”
When I read this in Josh Shipp’s book The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Human, I was somewhat taken aback. Teenagers, on average, spend around 20 minutes a day with the parents? That’s it?! That can’t be true, right?
Well, it is an average, and certainly, some of our teenagers spend significantly more time with their parents than that.
But that also means some of ours don’t.
In the most formidable years of their lives— as they’re finding identity and learning who they are, as they’re developing their own faith, as they’re making what could be life-altering decisions— teenagers need adults in their lives to help guide, direct, and mentor them.
That’s where parents step in and that’s where we step in.
Education is much more than math and science and English and history and all of our other subject areas. Those are important, no doubt. It’s what we’re trained to do. But our mission is to partner with parents to provide a distinctively Christian education that inspires excellence, independence, and a transforming faith in God.
We have quite a task in front of us, but I can’t think of a better group of teachers to be in the trenches with as we try to help our students grow to be the men and women God wants them to be.