Free Teen Talk on Identity

Welcome to your 10-Day Teen Talk on Identity!

This 10-Day experience gives you resources from Axis Parent Guides, Axis Summits, and Conversation Kits presented as one cohesive guide to help you better understand your teen and the world they live in every day.

Day 1:

Welcome! Start this guided package by familiarizing yourself with Snapchat and other popular social media platforms. Most often this is where the “identity” and idea of identity for many teens is created and defined.

Action: Ask your teen what they primarily use Snapchat for – and just so you’re both on the same page, download Snapchat, create an account, and ask them to show you how to use it! They’ll have a blast with this.

Day 2:

Now the routine starts. We will be back and forth between Parent Guides and Axis Summit Interviews so you can take a dip into teen culture and learn about one particular topic. Then you will receive a broader perspective on your role as the conversation leader and gain wisdom from the experts.

Action: Get involved and engaged in your teen’s search for belonging. In a calm, curious way, ask them where they feel they most “belong.” Be prepared for an answer other than “home”. Ask them what makes that space special and safe for them. Consider what aspects of that space you could apply to your home and your relationship with them.

Day 3:

In today’s world there are so many things to do. There are things to see, things to check off the list, people to hang out with, parties to go to, friends to impress … the list could go on and on. Thanks to social media platforms, teens never have to wonder what their friends are up to because they see the highlight reels constantly. They always see what they are missing out on which can produce anxiety, the feeling of loniness, and even thoughts of worthlessness.

Action: Read the Parent’s Guide to Teen FOMO. Write down 3 new ideas or concepts you understood about why teens experience FOMO more than any other group. Then ask your teen about their fears. What are they most fearful of? Does social media enhance that fear?

Day 4:

Every human longs to be loved, admired, and wanted. The conversation culture is having with our teen girls says you can give away everything for a boy because that is who can love you the most… and if boys don’t express interest then you are unlovable. Culture is creating a message about identity that is completely opposite of true identity found in Christ.

Action: Watch Jessie Miniassian’s summit interview. Write down 3-4 assumptions you might have about what your daughter thinks you have communicated to her. Does she know she is beautiful and that her identity is not found in her looks or her sexuality? Then take 30 minutes to sit, pray and write down 5 new ways you can affirm your daugther’s beauty and identity in Christ.

Day 5:

A common struggle in today’s ideal image age is simply feeling dissatisfied with one’s appearance. This is hardly just a teen issue. This Parent Guide may be one you might not have otherwise picked up, and we want you to push yourself to read it. Engage with a very common struggle for today’s teens – male and female.

Action: Ask your teen how they would define “beautiful.” Perhaps they can show you a picture, point to their favorite celebrity look. Be attentive, but do not respond immediatly. Just listen – you might get an answer you don’t expect.

Day 6:

Teens are searching for truth and identity, and they are finding it – but are they finding it in the right place? On Day 4, with Jessie Miniassian’s interview, we discussed what young girls are learning is beautiful. But we know boys need help with figuring out where their real identity is founded in a culture based on performance and achievement.

Action: Watch Jeff Kemp’s summit interview as he discusses manhood. Consider an activity your teen enjoys doing and would also either help them discover something about themselves or provide an example of the godly adult you pray they’ll become. Then do it!

Day 7:

Today is focused on creating a big picture understanding of where, why and how our identity is in Christ and our desire for appearance, love, belonging, success, etc.

Action: Go big…picture. Ask your teen where they think “identity” comes from? What does it mean to have “identity in Christ.” Don’t accept the “right” answer, and if they’re willing to continue the conversation do so by the terms they use to get to the bottom of what they really think/believe. Patience, they may not know what they think/believe about identity and that’s okay. That’s why you’re here with them.

Day 8:

Bring your teen into the conversation NOW if you haven’t already. It can be tricky to present something like this. Ask them first how they would feel if you did some research to understand their generation/friends and them better? Depending on how they respond to this proceed ahead. Odds are, they’ve seen something odd with the questions you’ve been asking lately and are curious!

Action: Watch the first two parts of the Identity Conversation Kit with your teen. Teens can smell an agenda a mile away. You MUST approach this conversation from nothing but a position of love. If they think you’re trying to get them to dress better or stop playing Fortnite through these conversations they won’t be responsive. But if it’s a genuine desire to know and understand them better – that can touch and heal something deep.

Day 9:

We want to help you bridge the gap with your teenager and designed the Identity Conversation Kit to help you speak your teen’s language. Don’t be surprised if these last two videos move a little fast and have a ton of content and media you’re not familiar with. But we encourage you to continue to jump into your teen’s world and create space to speak Identity over them.

Action: Watch part 3 and 4 of the Identity Conversation Kit with your teen. Know you’re now equipped to have a deeper conversation about identity with them. All these resources will remain accessable to you on this page. Keep coming back to them. If the timing wasn’t perfect, you have more than 10 days to revisit this conversation. You can come back to it again and again. We want you to be capable of a lifelong conversation to truly disciple and help shape your teen’s faith. These last 4 videos are great tool to bridge the gap and start the conversation if you need another starting place.

Day 10: Response

Yours and your teen’s. We need your help. Let us know what this experience was like for you, because we want these Teen Talks to create…some great talks. We also want to hear your stories! How did you teens respond? How do you feel afterward? Overwhelmed? uncomfortable? Prepared? Resourced? Set up for good, confident conversations?

Action: Your final assignment is to get in touch with us and report on your experience, completion of this Teen Talk. Thank you!

Bonus Day 11: Wrap-up

Whether the teens in your world think their identity comes from affirmation on social media, family approval, friendships, or a relationship with Christ – the conversation about identity is foundational. In fact, if you’ve done any other teen talks, this one may lie at the core of the other topics of Relationships, Pornography, Sexuality, etc.

The distractions and causes for FOMO in this world are unending. Whether we fall into focusing on bodies, social circles, relationships, or faith for belonging is a matter of choice + discipleship. You can provide only one of those. It’s difficult as a parent or a leader to see those you’re responsible for making choices that take them in a direction you know is not best.

It’s not fun to confront the “very good but cursed” world we live in, but let the truth that “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” (Abraham Kuyper) reign on this matter. We have no need to fear the source of our identity of the teens we lead because our creator has designed us and our purpose.

In fact, if you’ve followed each day’s Actions, you’ve had 10 intentional conversations so far! That said, we all miss a day here and there. Keep coming back to these resources. Let them guide you in your discussions – which are often far more about tone, approach, listening, and grace instead of the answers we assume we ought to immediately give.

If you take one thing away from this Teen Talk, let it be that this conversation is not over. It is simply one little component of your discipleship of the teens you see on a regular basis. God’s truth must permeate this on every level, and even the resources you have here are not enough for a lifelong conversation.

Axis can help, we can come alongside the conversation and your family/community to be a guide, and you get to be the one facilitating this under the banner of God’s grace and sovereignty. Good luck. We’re happy to have helped. Let us know how we can keep your lifelong conversation going.