A 12-year-old’s wisdom

I am procrastinating right now. I should be doing my taxes, but I simply don’t feel like it.

Instead, I’m sharing the insights a 12-year-old client imparted during a therapy session this week. It was his first session with me and to get to know each other, we played the “Ungame” – a therapeutic game where you ask and answer questions about feelings, thoughts, values, and opinions. He read one of the cards to me, asking about a “turning point” in my life. I typically don’t want to burden my kiddo clients with adult problems or insights, so I shared something about moving and starting school when I was 6 years old. He listened graciously and when I asked him the same questions a little bit later, he stated: “When I started to go to youth group and I started to understand about meaning and purpose, about why we live, why things happen to us, and how everything is connected.” I’m not kidding. Those were his exact words. Trying to clarify what exactly that meant to him, I said: “So you started to see that there was a big picture, that everything you do affects something else?” He responded: “You know when you try to fix something about the world – and the world is in pretty bad shape right now – it makes something bad happen someplace else. I get really anxious when I don’t understand how things work, when my teacher only explains a part, but I don’t understand how it’s connected to the rest.” Can you have a midlife crisis at age 12? Or was I supposed to figure this out some 35 years ago?


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