It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

“I Just Got Back From the Moon!”

“I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE MOON!”  Before you laugh too much at this one, you must know it actually happened in a counseling session. I asked an 11-year-old boy how his weekend went, and he launched into quite a tale.

He told me his folks are divorced and that his father lived just outside Houston. When he went to visit his father, they took a trip to the Manned Spacecraft Center. As it worked out, they had a rocket there all fueled up and ready to go. They asked him if he was up for a two-day trip to the moon. He said, “Sure!” and blasted off for the weekend.

Although I’m pretty sure the NASA folks in Houston only track ‘em, not launch ‘em, I sensed that confronting him would not be productive. Besides, he already knew he didn’t really go to the moon.

There can be a number of dynamics operating here, and I won’t run the whole list. Ruling out thought disorder or schizophrenia, I believe the boy was covering for a sense of insignificance.

Perhaps he was really saying, “If you really knew how dull and lackluster my life really is, you wouldn’t waste your breath on me. But if I can tell you some really far-out stuff, just perhaps I can hold your attention a bit longer.”

I believe there are kids, defiant ones included, who are starving for just five of unconditional time with us. A little affirmation can work wonders, and it generally brings reality back into focus and discussion.

James Sutton, Psychologist


March 24, 2010 - Posted by | Counselors, Educators, family, Parents, Self-esteem | , , , , , ,

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