helping troubled teens

After the terrible events of December 14th, many people are thinking about what should be done to end this deeply troubling violence.  Of course, as many have said, we must end this ridiculously easy access to guns.  Without that access, there would not have been such a terrible sacrifice of the children to the failings of this society as it played out on that day.

But I’d like to think about another aspect of the problem, the isolation of many of our young men.  This is more than a U.S. problem.  I’ve heard from Korean, Chinese and Japanese moms of the hours of solitary time their young boys spend with video games.

The operative word is solitary.  I think if we can figure out a way of getting in close to these guys, without criticism, without pumping for information, just staying near, seeing where we can help them laugh, we may succeed in getting them to be able to feel that us in their lives.

I really recommend this article by Patty Wipfler:


Playing with a one and a half year old

Here’s a good example [of Tommy again] of playing with little Ali.  He laughs and laughs at disrupting his grandfather’s drum-playing.  When Tommy tries to switch the game, Ali doesn’t laugh, so Tommy goes right back to the old game: