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5 Ways to Keep Your Teenager on Track This Lent Season

Set goals, create plans and offer encouragement during your teen’s Lenten journey.

Mom and teenage daughter hugging as they celebrate lent for teens
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Lent is a time for reflection and repentance, deepening our relationship with God—especially for our teens. It offers a great opportunity for your teenager to stay on track with their faith and belief. Here are some ideas to keep them focused and motivated during this special season.

Why Lent is Important for Teenagers

Did you know that the teen years are an important part of a person’s spiritual journey? According to Dr. Lisa Miller, a professor and clinical psychologist at Columbia University who studies spirituality in the lives of children and teenagers, we go through a kind of spiritual surge in our teenage years. “During physical puberty, there is an augmentation in our capacity for transcendent awareness and experiences,” she says.

In fact, various religions see the teenage years as a spiritually significant time. In the Jewish faith, children have a bar or bat mitzvah at 12 or 13 years old. Children in Catholic and other Christian churches have their confirmation between ages 11 to 17.

Lent can be an important time for a teenager’s spiritual life, especially if you are there to guide them through it. Here are 5 tips for ways to celebrate the Lenten season with your teenagers.

5 Tips to Celebrate Lent With Your Teen

Mother and teen daughter in the kitchen together discussing their lent goals
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1. Talk to your teenager about what they hope to accomplish during Lent.

Taking the time to have an honest discussion with your teen, ask them what they hope to accomplish during Lent. Invite them to be creative and think holistically, beyond the traditional observances, such as fasting or saying extra prayers. While teens might not always feel comfortable talking with their parents about their personal faith matters, building a safe and open space that allows them to express themselves without judgment fosters a strong faith-based foundation into adulthood.

Mother and her teen daughter looking at their lent goals on a smartphone
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2. Help your teen set realistic Lent goals

We all want to achieve great things in life, but setting the right kinds of goals can be challenging. Help your child set goals that are ambitious and high-reaching, yet realistic and constructive. One way to ensure this is by breaking down the goal into smaller ones that work together, taking baby steps and rewarding themselves at each stage for their effort and work. This can help build positive habits and keep morale up and makes sticking with goals much easier.

READ MORE: What to Give Up for Lent: 15 Meaningful Suggestions

Parents on the couch with their teen daughter making their lent goals on a laptop
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3. Create a plan to help them meet their Lent goals, including daily or weekly check-ins

Having an effective plan makes it easier to stay on track and pushes your teenager towards success. Those who have chosen to observe Lent can start by developing a clear plan of action that includes daily or weekly check-ins to ensure they are working towards their overall goal. It’s important to keep in mind that sticking with the plan and remaining accountable along the way is integral to achieving the desired outcome. With proper implementation, setting and following through, can make this season especially rewarding and spiritual.

A mother encouraging her teen daughter during Lent
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4. Encourage and support them throughout the Lenten season

Encouraging and empowering teens to stay focused and dedicated throughout Lent can make all the difference. Here are some ways you can keep your teen on track all through Lent:

  • Reach out through loving texts, emails or handwritten letters
  • Set time to talk about their feelings, goals and progress during the season
  • Gift items like faith journals, prayer cubes or Bibles to keep them focused on their journey

READ MORE: 20 Unique Lent Gifts for 2023

A father celebrating his teen son during the Lent season
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5. Celebrate your teen’s successes at the end of Lent

After an incredible Lenten journey of self-discipline and internal growth, it’s important to recognize the successes of teenagers. Whether this is staying away from their favorite late-night snacks or rising early for prayer, celebrating their dedication to live better, faithful lives can help encourage them during this oftentimes challenging season. With celebrations, such as family board game nights or inviting friends out for dessert, there are many ways young people can enjoy the end of Lent in a meaningful and spiritual way.

No matter how you and your teen choose to celebrate the Lenten season, there is always room for bonding—both with each other, and with God. Keep them on track, guide them through the season, and remember to celebrate together when the season comes to an end. Making Lent an important spiritual time for yourself and your teen will bring joy to your family year after year.

READ MORE ABOUT LENT FOR TEENS AND FAMILIES:

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