R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Treating teenagers with respect goes a long way.

Respect starts with appreciation and interest. Respect minus appreciation is obligation. Respect minus interest is politeness. People can feel the difference.

I’m not sure the teenagers I’ve worked with have a ton of adults in their lives who are permitted to appreciate them and be interested in them. Coaches, teachers, tutors, youth pastors–all of us have a stake in the performance of the teens we’re working with. If we’re not careful, those stakes can stifle appreciation and corrupt interest, so that students become means to our professional ends.

Here’s a test question: if a teenager can’t come to any of our classes, practices, rehearsals, or meetings, are we still actively interested in how they are experiencing the world? Are we working to make space for them to explore that? That space is invaluable, and none of us are very good at creating it ourselves.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  1. ” Are we working to make space for them to explore that? That space is invaluable, and none of us are very good at creating it ourselves.” I am going to be thinking about this for a while. I am not sure if we are even able to create that kind of space for ourselves. I am thinking that we actually need one another to create spaces for us to explore. Creating space for curious exploration seems like the foundation and ethos of Godly Play. If we moved that into all of our relationships, I wonder what we would discover.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s