Monday, December 13, 2010

He's not going to "get better"

The idea that he's "bad" and going to "get better"
                     is a way of thinking that has no reality.

What you consider "bad" and what you consider "better" is your judgement of how he is suppose to act and behave like at this time of his life. A teenage boy trying to become a man is not "sick". No matter how you judge his behavior this is a cycle of life he's going through. You may want him to ACT like a mature adult but again - that is not the cycle of life he is in.
So how do you deal with his belligerent attitude, his disobedience.
Well we talked about that in the BAM program in that you need to see through his eyes and have compassion on the new emotions and issues he is encountering now in life. Starting from there helps him know you care about what he's going through.
It does not mean the attitude is right or that we are going to accept it.
We start with acknowledging to him that this is a tough time of life. Then we set down the rules and stick to the rules as stated in the video.
Example: Sunday I had a 17 year old jump the fence at a juvenile detention center I work at. He was embarrassed to talk to me about it. I didn't start with condemning the action - I started with, "this is a tough place and some of your family have really let you down, I know that has to be really rough." He now knows I'm trying to see the world through his eyes. Then I stated, "But that was not the most brilliant thing to do was it?" I kidded him, "If you're going to jump the fence you'd better wait until Spring - it's cold out there." and made him laugh. But he knew I was completely against the behavior but with compassion.
We listen to people who we FEEL ...
understand us and have compassion on our foolishness.

1 comment:

  1. I like that you brougt this up. People often try to help or change you without relating first. If you come up to me and just start laying into me for something I did wrong, more then likely I will just write you off. On the other hand if you come up and establish an understanding of some sort first, I am more likely to have what you say sink in.