by Adam Clarke
Why is it that a jr. high guy canʼt see that his room is as dirty as you tell him? Simple: Males absorb less proximal or sensory data than females. This is also why they may not hear a teacher calling them in class. Males have many other functions that make them as unique as they are.
The first step is to understand that the jr. high male is going to have a shorter attention span than females. Males are two to three more times likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Since a maleʼs brain develops at a different rate than a femaleʼs, here are some specific areas that we can focus on to help them grow into strong men of God.
1) Guys need to be known. It is important that as parents and youth leaders, we know the struggles and development habits they will go through in order to help guide them through adolescence.
2) Guys need validation as unique individuals. Stereotyping guys can hurt and hinder their development with becoming strong men. They need to realize that God created them especially so that they can build up their characteristics that God gave them.
3) Guys need community. They need multi-aged relationships to help them learn how to develop. They need the bond of a man to guide them like a compass, but they also need many peers to sharpen them like “iron sharpens iron”. They will also need these male influences to help form masculinity
4) Guys need mentors. A mentor helps to impart wisdom as well as being concerned with the development of character. They become the safe place that every guy needs, giving them a listening ear without the fear of judgment. Most importantly, a mentor guides his protege into a strong relationship with Christ.
5) Guys need to play. They need to learn a healthy way to release their aggression. Here they learn about fair play, respect, control and discipline.
Guys develop at a very different rate than females, and we need to be very careful not to expect uniformity from them. If you have questions about your young men feel free to email, call, have lunch or whatever to talk about the characteristics that make them unique.