Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wisconsin Teenage Shooting

  Let them YELL! We have had two teenage to young men tragedies this last week; from a young man wanting to kill children in a bombing attempt in Oregon to last nights hostage and attempted suicide in Wisconsin. In both situations we hear that so common statement "they were quiet and to themselves".
In dealing with troubled youth for 15 years I have found this is the most dangerous attitude. The boy that is quiet is easy to deal with - but the turmoil inside is the danger. The boy who is yelling and expressing how upset he is is the one that we actually can deal with.
I lost a boy to suicide who would sit in the back of my Sunday school class and never speak up - since then I never let any boy sit in the back. They have to be in the circle and they have to express themselves even if it comes out violently.
Trying to stop the yelling is not my goal - my goal is to find out what the problem is and deal with it.

I'm sure there are many opinions on this and every child is a unique individual that needs unique direction so all comments are welcome.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Respect from your teenager

  Respect from your teenager can be difficult
BAMtime is designed to help you with this issue - the key is to respect the emotions, physiological changes and way of thinking your teenage son is going through. When he feels you respect what he is going through his defenses drop and it opens discussion to what you expect from him in respect.
If we feel someone doesn't care about our circumstances our natural response is to not care about what they are going through.
This applies in this new relationship you are building with this new person called a "teenager".

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gospel to teenagers

I have to admit - my Sunday school class at one of the Juvenile Detention centers taught me a big lesson today.

I asked the question: What is Salvation?
Several boys spoke up and reasoned it out together...
"well...when you salvage something it means you dug it out of the dump pit and made it new and good again. So I guess it means Jesus dug us out of the pit and make us new again...right...?"

I was so flabbergasted by the word picture I just sat down and nodded in shock.

Don't be afraid to ask them questions that we even struggle with explaining!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our need for affirmation

We all have a need for affirmation. If we tell a person we want something done, we expect that person to affirm they heard it and will do it.
When mom tells her teenage son to do something she expects an affirmation...doesn't always happen though does it?
This creates frustration - however we learned from BAMtime that he is passive aggressively being rebellious to make the point that "mommy" isn't his boss anymore; he's his own man and wants to prove it.
Ever notice that he eventually will get up and do what you asked?

Now we have to look at the big picture.
  1.  He is trying to become his own man = and that is something we want or he'll never be able to stand on his own feet and create his own life.
  2. But we still need him to do what we asked.
Can both be accomplished?

Tell him what needs to be done. But don't expect an affirmation from him that he's going to do it. If you know he heard you then give him time to do it.
If he doesn't; then you work boundaries and consequences, but patients here can accomplish both.
Try it and give some comments.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why boys need new experiences

Why boys need new experiences
We discuss the need boys have to "give it a try". From the way a tween/teen brain develops we know it has to have experiences to grow "neural connections, or synapses, that get exercised are retained, while those that don't are lost."
Take a look at the scientific article on youth brain development at the National Institute for Mental Health. Knowing that a young adult is going through this amazing "brain change" can really help us understand odd behaviors and what we would often "with our mature brains" consider illogical reasoning.
We need to have the insight to give their brains time to grow and develop in the reasoning frontal lobe of their growing brains. There is no substitute for time and experience.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Teen boys and holidays

Ever notice a lack of excitement in your son during the holidays now that he's reached his teen years?
It's normal - he's just in a strange place where he feels he can't act like a "little kid" anymore and get excited but he doesn't know how to act as an adult.
Often he's put at the table with the "little kids" and that's not where he wants to be.
The best thing you can do is ask him if he wants to be at the adult table this year. Let it be his decision but the fact that you offered shows him you are now seeing him as more of an adult.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CSB will be in town this week

An organization that helps churches create their own mentor program is called Christian Service Brigade
Contact us if you would like to know more about their mentor programs
Male Mentors are so important to a young mans life and it is so difficult to establish. I have been a mentor to a lot of young men over the years and this would have been a great tool to have.

Why I believe action novels communicate well to boys

I have preached for 17 years now from Sunday school boys to men in prisons and they just don't like having someone "tell" them what they should do. Men and boys also seem to need emotional stories (their kind of emotions) to get to their hearts. An amazing example is King David sinning with Bathsheba in the Bible - The prophet convicts him by using a story of a man with one little lamb and to summarize if you don't know the story another rich man with lots of sheep demands the man kill his one little lamb to feed his guest. God knew David would have been bull headed if he'd been accused of adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband but the STORY opened Davids heart and convicted him beyond what any preaching would have done.
I have found the boys get more out of the action stories I write with a message then they ever have by my preaching at them - that is why I believe there is such a need for more of these action novels that are Bible based.

Choose your battles

 As the moms stated on the BAM DVD you will not win every battle so choose what is truly important to you. What should be the criteria? What harm will it really do?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BAM "Mom tool" self esteem

We talk about the Male Ego in the BAM program and often I am asked does this mean a belligerent attitude is acceptable. Answer is absolutely NOT. Working with the Male Ego to guide and direct a young man should always be focused on his self esteem and positive attitude.
An example used is "Can you use your man muscles to move that lawn mower into the back shed?"
This does not direct your son to be belligerent but to feel proud that you are recognizing his maturity to become a man.
The way to test a comment - does it build him up and hold him accountable as a young MAN.
What "Mom tool" comments have you used this week?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Think it through before the confrontation

      Emotional confrontations never lead to productive direction. If you are in a reactive argument you are in a debate and human psyche wants to win a debate which mean your son will argue just to argue (does that sound familiar?)