"Anyone called to be a parent, a pastor or guide to young people must have the farsightedness to appreciate the little flame that continues to burn, the fragile reed that is shaken but not broken... The ability to discern pathways where others see only walls, to recognize potential where others see only peril. That is how God the Father sees things; he knows how to cherish and nurture the seeds of goodness sown in the hearts of the young. Each young person's heart should thus be considered 'holy ground', a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must 'take off our shoes' in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the Mystery."
Pope Francis in Christus Vivit.
I wonder if this passage will really be of help to parents with teen-agers. I suspect it could be, but in the moment of finding coke cans stashed under the couch, (my mother told me how that tried her patience with my younger brother) one might not be remembering those seeds of goodness in the hearts of the young.
But the Pope also calls us to contemplate the plight of so many young people today "who suffer forms of marginalization and social exclusion for religious, ethnic or economic reasons." And he asks if we can weep before the tragedies of our young. I hope you will read the entire Exhortation which was published last March 25. It can be found online.