Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Young Person's Dictionary

A priest of the Seoul Diocese, who has worked with young people for many years, has recently written A Young Person's Dictionary, whose main message is that parents and children often fail to understand each other because many of the words used in their conversations are understood differently. And to have a meaningful conversation, he reminds us, the words being used must be understood to have the same meaning for both the parent and the child.

The book draws on the priest's many years of experience working with youth. It was reviewed in the Catholic press and in one of the secular papers. He feels that parents, no matter their maturity, are often blind when they attempt to judge  their children, believing that no one knows 'my child the way I do.'

Children keep on growing but parents only remain with the remembrance of the past, the priest asserts, and miss the world the child lives in.

Below is a partial list of words that often have different meanings, he claims, for the parent and the child. 

* Bullying
A parent would understand this as shunning or being shunned; a child, as something that he will experience, if not careful.

* A teacher
For a parent: someone who instructs others; for a child: someone who can be clueness even about the meaning of existence.

* Sex
For a parent: sensual contact between male and female bodies; for a child: something embarrassing.

For a parent: an exchange of thoughts on a subject of mutual interest; for a child: something he or she wanted to do but couldn't, or something of little value. 

For a parent: assessing the merits of two or more things; For a child: a means of squashing the child's spirit.

For a parent: trust and firm belief in oneself; for a child: something parents continually want them to have, but that they feel is impossible to acheive. 

The priest feels that the impoverished poor in society are our children. He ends the interview with the words of Don Bosco: "Just to love our children is insufficient; they have to feel that love. The grimmer the school and society become, the more important it is for teachers and parents to grow this feeling in their hearts."

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