Making Peace

Working with my junior high guys at our Wednesday after school program continues to be a frustrating experience.  The program’s coordinator just started doing a Bible study with them (since they would rarely bring homework to do anyway), but the problems continue.  We just cannot seem to find a way to get them to settle down and focus on something.

Granted, they are middle school boys who have lots of energy and too little attention.  Sometimes I wonder if the best way to deal with it is just to have a sports camp or something so they’re worn out by the end.  Or just stop the junior high program (it’s only once a week anyway) and focus on the younger kids.  I don’t know.

The tough part is, the guys are great.  They usually enjoy coming, even if they don’t always like what we do with them or give us any respect.  They show up for a reason.  I like all of them, and they’re fun.  We just can’t do anything with them.

One of our kids almost walked out today after getting too many warnings and penalties for being disruptive and writing some things he shouldn’t have.  I gave him a minute while he got his stuff, then talked to him before he left the building.  It wasn’t much, but we talked about what was going on, why he was getting upset, and why he was getting in trouble.  I made it clear that our coordinator really does like hanging out with them, so much so that she’s volunteering her time to do it, and that she actually puts time into working on stuff for them.  He decided that maybe he could offer her a little more respect, and that maybe he’d try working with her for a change.

One small victory in what feels like an ongoing and discouraging battle.  Well, I take what I can get at the moment.

~ by Peter on January 30, 2008.

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