Archive for February 9th, 2019

February 9, 2019

Broken wings

by Rod Smith

The Mercury – Wednesday / Broken Wings

I’ve seen “broken wing” children in almost every youth gathering in every country I have ever visited.

These are very needy young people who attempt to derail the focus of the group in order to get the attention they think they need. They look for sympathy and attention, and interpret both as the only expressions of love. They are very easily offended. They personalize the slightest, most unintentional oversight. Benign oversights are interpreted as rejection.

New friendships become bindingly exclusive and anything short of exclusivity is considered rejection or even hate.

When they don’t get what they want in the way they think it is to be delivered, they sabotage activities through moodiness, withdrawal, and threats.

They often leave the larger group and expect to be rescued.

They are often masters of passive/aggressive behavior and can flip from being upbeat to going “offline” in a blink of an eye.

As teenagers they have an uncanny ability to divide communities.

The wise adult leader pays this child careful, mindful, helpful attention.

The wise leader does not permit him or her to derail the community.

The wise leader does not allow the group to rescue their moody peer – but alerts the child’s parents so the child can get the help he or she really needs.