Monday, May 11, 2009

What Happens When a Teenager Loses Both Parents?

There is no doubt that our teenagers are facing difficult challenges that were unheard of in the times that their parents, or perhaps even their older brothers and sisters, were growing up. We have predators on the internet who are posing as adolescents in hopes of having an inappropriate relationship, or perhaps with plans for violent actions. The 24-hour media is bombarding our young people with images of sex and drugs with unprecedented frequency. The troubled economy has soon-to-be graduates wondering if a job will even await them once they walk across the stage. And, the increase in the number of divorces in our country has left many teenagers without the stable two-parent home that usually provides the best opportunity for guidance and development.

In my second book, Finish Line, I introduce the readers to Justin and Keith. They are two teenage boys who, for different reasons, do not have strong male role models in their lives. After a destructive summer prank lands the boys a summer job working at the Prairie Winds Golf Course, their need for a strong male influence is finally realized. The manager of the course, Curt Schroeder, soon teaches the young men some important life lessons about endurance, discipline, and a positive attitude.

With Mother’s Day just this past weekend, my thoughts have been with the irreplaceable role that moms play in our upbringing. Mothers and fathers each offer a distinct and important relationship with their children. What happens when a child is left without either one? How much are the common struggles of our teenagers amplified when such a tragedy is included? How can you help a young person who is already dealing with the complicated emotions of adolescence express his or her feelings about being an orphan? This serious issue will be addressed in my upcoming book, Opur’s Blade.

If you are someone who has dealt with the loss of both parents at a young age, I would love to hear your story. And, once Opur’s Blade is released, I hope you will share your feedback and let me know if I did justice to that difficult experience.

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