Why do teenagers argue?
A lack of power in their own lives makes it important for a teenager to grab it in social interaction. It can lead to a teen being part of a group only if things happen as they want them to happen. If it doesn’t happen as they want then leads to aggression and bullying.
Social status in any group is important but for teenagers this can mean a lot. When the social status of a person is high, teenagers around that person will want to raise their own standing. This is when bullying takes place often around rumours and gossip, slut-shaming and ostracising.
Seeking revenge or retaliating often extends from being bullied themselves. Bullying others brings a sense of relief, often targetting weaker young people.
Problems at home
There can be a variety of reasons why a young person might turn to bullying because of home life. Abuse at home will mean a teenager is more likely to bully, but absent or permissive parenting can also lead to a teenager bullying. Sibling rivalry can also cause issues.
You’re different can lead to bullying. It doesn’t always happen because you are black or female but some will be bullied simply because they have special food requirements.
Fitting in is important and being part of the gang can lead to situations where a young person takes an action that they might not want to take. They are not worried about the consequences.
How can we help Christian teenagers?
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (NIV)2 Timothy 2:23-24
I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord” (NIV)Philippians 4:2
Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words. It is of no value and only ruins those who listen. (NIV)2 Timothy 2:14
Our job as a youth pastor is to spiritually encourage and mentor young people. The role has many different facets and one of them is to deal with differences between the young people. As a shepherd might lead lambs away from danger so must the youth worker instruct and encourage teens from being involved in negative activity. How this happens depends on the person you are and the circumstances of the situation. It can be a direct challenge, a Bible study on unity, lifestyle and how you live can also guide and teach. You will need to ask the Lord for wisdom and for the Holy Spirit to step in and shape the way forward.
It is a hard life and God did say there would be trials and so we can expect their to be differences, how we deal with them will take sensitivity. Evaluate your own life, ensure you are not dealing with prejudices yourself and make sure you are in contact with your elders, talking things through with them. Ultimately, allowing things to fester can cause more problems.