Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

February 24, 2012

What Are We Giving Up This Lent? What about Distractions?

In the spirit of “giving up” something for Lent, consider encouraging teens to give up some of their distractions?

With their busy lives, teens have no shortage of distractions. You know the list: Twitter, Facebook, texting, not to mention drama with classmates, parents, and employers, along with stress from tests, sports, and work. There is no way teens can give up all of those distractions during Lent, but even trying to limit a few would be helpful. Ask questions like the ones below to help your students to consider ways to to that.

Questions for Giving Things Up During Lent

  1. Is God calling you to spend your time a different way? Where have you needed “more time?” Has it been with God, with family, with friends, or has it been alone time?

  2. What are the non-optional (school, homework, job, chores, family events) and optional (free time) activities in your life?

  3. How can you spend more time alone, with God, or with others if you shifted how you used your free time?

Technology During Lent

Of course technology is the major distraction for teens (and adults too!). Tell the students that they do not necessarily have to give up technology completely but rather discipline themselves by trying one or more of the following ideas:

  • Turn off your cell phone for a period of time every night with your family.

  • Check Facebook or other social networks before you start your homework and afterward rather than throughout your work time.

  • Turn music off sometimes: in the car, at home, walking or jogging. Perhaps you could turn on Christian music instead.

  • Is doing homework with the TV on lengthening the time it takes to get it done? You may find some time there.

For anyone, being available for God, loved ones, friends, and themselves is a valuable gift that may become clear with fewer distractions!

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