Sunday, December 18, 2011

Understanding the Teenage Mind

"But MOM; you don't understand!"
What is your answer to that statement?
Working with so many young men over the years I have found that my answer to that statement can open or close the door to communication.
Even though I HAVE been a boy trying to become a man (something a mom has not) I have found it is very important not to reply: "I do understand what you are going through." The truth is NO WE CAN'T understand what another person is really going through. God made their mind and thoughts unique, they have had influences by outside factors I have not, they have goals and emotions different than my own.
So even though I may have had something similar; it is critical that I do not tell a young man "I understand," if I do I create a frustration that shuts down communication.
I have found it is better to reply, "No, I can't completely understand what you are going through, what are you going through?"
This OPENS the line of communication. And no matter what they talk about I need to keep quiet and listen to ALL of that young mans opinions and views on the world and his situation. If I take that time, after he has vented I can now respond directly to what he is thinking and he knows I have at least heard what he is feeling.

No comments:

Post a Comment