It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

We Are NOT The Only Experiment

“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.”  R. Buckminster Fuller

Mr. Fuller said it, and just about every counselor or therapist I know would affirm it. We are not the only experiment.

One sure sign of psychological and emotional anguish is a turning inward. Children are no different from adults. When they are hurting, they are apt to feel they are the only persons on this earth, and that it is the job of everyone else to soothe them. Frankly, it’s not good for a child or adolescent to be the star, producer and director of their own personal movie. Such a inward turn is rarely a good thing.

The secret is to get the youngster to focus on someone else, if even briefly. It puts the child in a much better place and increases his or her emotional vision.

Years ago our son, Jamie, was a child care worker at a residential treatment facility. He worked with boys up to age 10. That week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day was awful. There were no more presents to open and there was no school. It was a “down time” of the worst variety.

The following year the staff took the boys over to a shelter for the homeless early in that same week to teach them a little lesson about the plight of others. They were given small jobs to do around the place. As they focused on the needs of the homeless around them, they began to put their own situations into a more positive perspective.

There was even a homeless clown at the shelter. He offered the boys unwrapped candy that had been collecting lint in his pockets for weeks.  One-by-one, Jamie pulled the boys aside and instructed each of them to accept the candy from the clown, BUT NOT TO EAT IT. He promised to trade them out a piece of wrapped candy when they got back to the unit. (It’s okay to accept the kindnesses of others, so long as they don’t poison you!)

The staff had little trouble with those boys for the rest of that week. I guess the lads figured out, for awhile anyway, that they were not the only experiment.

And that topped any present they got that Christmas.

James D. Sutton, Psychologist

March 30, 2007 - Posted by | Counselors, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem, Special Occasions

1 Comment »

  1. This was a very good lesson for the boys. It always helps to serve others and to understand their plight.


    Comment by tobeme | April 4, 2007 | Reply

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