Young Men, Big Dreams & Insightful opinions

Young Adults ..... teenagers ....... Youth ......... whatever it is that you call 16 year olds .... I think Young Adults is the best word .... teenagers is so 13-ish. 

Some people really battle to relate to this age - it can be cocky, frustrating, stone-walling, trying and exasperating.  It can also be interesting, fun, self-assured, cocky, inquisitive, loving, responsible and many more descriptive words. 

I speak as an expert.  I have a 16 year old son.  And 4 years ago my daughter was also 16 (but girls are a whole other blog).  Being school holidays there was a lot of interaction between Nic and other 16 year olds in his Grade this week. 

One of them stayed here for 3 days, one spent a whole day with us and one stayed overnight.  At various stages I had 3 of them together.  Probably the highlight of the past week for me. 

16 year olds have opinions.  About everything.  And before you shrug off their opinions as being defensive or cocky, listen to them.  Really listen.  Kids today are savvy.  They know all the usual stuff ... music, games, sport ..... girls, girls, girls.  But they are also able to speak about what they perceive to be going on in our country, about how political parties behave.  They can converse on families, religion, how we treat others both adults and those younger and in turn how they treat 16 year olds.  They can give opinions on drugs, alcohol, smoking, same sex couples, relationships and you will be well advised to give them your ear.  They can have grown up discussions on this and allow open conversation and opinions to be aired.  It is important. 

I had a small group of boys (and later in the day a girl) help me to clean the Repository at the church and count the stock.  They did the usual ... laughed, teased, chased, wet each other and were crazy with each other.  They also successfully counted and recorded a massive amount of individual items, washed the shelves (without being asked) and packed back.  No moaning, nothing.  And it was not just because they were plied with pizza and colddrink.  One of the boys is not Catholic like the rest are, and I found his one on one chats to me about religion and Catholicism to be deeply inquisitive and grown up. 

On Friday night a slightly different compilation of boys stayed over and we watched 2 movies together.  Again it felt interesting ... they drift between laughing at the most ridiculous things and then coming out with the most deep opinions.  They speak about their futures, their dreams and their concerns.

Nic's friends of all sexes and ages have always been comfortable around me, since they were little, as were Jess'.  We have had them for sleepovers often over the years and some nights our rooms are as full as our lounge furniture.  In our house they know there is a line ... but the line is far enough down the lane that they can talk to me comfortably about most things. 

So if you have boys .... in this age group.  Spend time with them.  But most of all ... LISTEN .... listen without correcting ... listen without interrupting .... listen without judging or giving a lecture. 

Just listen. 

You may be amazed at what you learn. 




c'est la vie 
xxx

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