Do teenage boys talk…much? Just wonderin’….

Alas…this is the time of year when I would normally write something about holidays past, complete with melancholy and misty-eyed remembrances of Christmas’ of my childhood.  This year…I don’t have anything.  In fact this past month has kinda been a bust for me.  I don’t have big worrisome problems like those of many….just the needling of doubts, ideas expressed in the workplace squashed (or worse yet…taken further without even an “atta boy”), kicking a call in a game and realizing that I’ve got a lot more of this in store if I wish to be who I want to be in this life in family, friends, career and leisure.  Trying new things leads to failure occasionally, and failure for me leads to joyless days and sleepless nights. Thank God its been nothing fatal…but damned troubling nonetheless.

On another note…I wrote over a year ago that I was joining Big Brothers/Big Sisters in the hopes of becoming someone’s Big Brother and making a positive difference in their life.  My little brother and I were matched up over a year ago.  He just turned 13, growing like a weed, complete with a changing voice and size thirteen shoes.  I thought that it’d be a little different than what its turned out to be, as he’s kept me at arms length.  His father isn’t in the picture.  His mother works a lot.  They rent, don’t have TV or internet and there’s usually a fair amount of kids running around the place when I pick him up.  In fact the first time that I went to pick him up they had moved without telling anyone.  He’s quiet and when I asked him about his dad he replied “we don’t talk about him….”.  Its the polar opposite of the way that I was brought up.  I had many good role models to choose from in my family and from my friends families.  This kid…no one.

The way that our time is usually spent is me picking him up. Us going out to eat, he loves steak and I let him order it whenever he wants, or he gets chicken strips and ketchup, and us talking about miscellaneous things.  We can’t talk about sports or movies since they don’t have cable or the internet….but we’ve found some common ground.  Then we’ll head to the movies or select another activity like a car show if its warm enough.  His case worker and I speak regularly, her often asking questions that I really don’t have answers for since he doesn’t exactly open up about school and family (does any teenage boy…?).  Long story short….she told me that he’s waiting to see if I’ll stick it out and continue to be a part of his life.  Truth be told…I wonder if its worth it.  It seems like he’d rather stay home and play video games or play with his cousins.  There’s been a couple of times when  he’s needed new shoes and I’ve almost bought him some so that his feet wouldn’t stick out…but not wanting to offend his mothers modest means…I don’t.  I don’t have any issues continuing on with this…I only wonder if I’m wasting his time.  What good is our four hours together a month doing for him?  This…is what’s on my mind this holiday season.

Thank you for reading.  May God bless you and yours this Christmas season,





3 thoughts on “Do teenage boys talk…much? Just wonderin’….

  1. Sounds like it’s hard for him to really develop trust. You might have grown up knowing that the people in your life would always be there when you needed them most. He didn’t have that. If you just up and leave, you’ll confirm his suspicions; just yet another somebody who was a part of his life and then wasn’t there. There’s a verse in the Bible – “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” It won’t be easy, but you’re going to have to spectacularly disappoint him – he might expect you to walk out of his life but you don’t have to. Will it change everything all at once? Certainly not. There’s a reason why he lost the ability to develop trust and it’s not a switch that can be flipped ‘on’ and ‘off’. You might be able to find some helpful professional counseling resources online (not Christian counseling) – the more you learn might make it easier on you.

  2. Good on you for trying. I do think you’re on to something — he’s waiting and watching to see if you’ll be just like everyone else who has left/disappointed him. Hang in there. I have a feeling you’re going to see a breakthrough…. MJ

  3. My instinct tells me to advise you to hang in there with him. I can’t help but believe that you are an influence on him even though it appears to you that you aren’t. It’s a tough ole life out there for a young person in his place and any and all positive interactions can only be a positive influence for him. Blessings to you all.

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