Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Get Outta My Face!, by Rick Horne

Guest Post from Carrie's younger brother, Christopher, who is Texas born and bred. And likes it that way.

Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne is about getting conversations started with perhaps the most ornery and stubborn people on this Earth (right after Texans) – teenagers. Mr. Horne has written an immanently readable, practical, engaging, and rewarding book, the primary focus of which is building conversational bridges to teens who’ve ‘had it up to here’ with adults attempting to govern and judge them. The ultimate goal of the book is, as the author says, equipping adults to aid young people in coming, “into a deep and life-changing relationship with Christ.” I believe Mr. Horne accomplishes that goal.

I think it is important to highlight, as the author himself does, that this book is not a complete guide to counseling. If you have been struggling with a teen or young person – your own, a member of your Church’s youth, a student, etc. – this book is not going to solve all of your problems. You will still need to read further, pray harder, fast longer. That said, I would highly recommend this book for Christian adults who find themselves stumbling out of the starting block in their attempts to communicate with troubled youth. If you feel like you’re hitting a stone wall in your conversations with your young person, and the frustration is building, then read this book.

The heart of Get Outta My Face! is the LCLP process.

Listen Big

Clarify Narrow

Look Wide

Plan Small

I’m usually not a big one for acronyms, but this one has stuck in my head (just don’t ask me if I’ve applied the principles consistently).

Listen Big is not simply about being an active listener, though it includes that. Rather, it is about specifically listening for what the teenager does not want – whether that’s not being taken seriously, being yelled at, or what have you. The point is to identify as best you can what it is that’s bugging them about a particular situation, without judgment on your part.

Clarify Narrow is what you might call the “trick” of this system. The value of Clarify Narrow is that it acknowledges the truth that somewhere in your youth’s complaints and frustrations is a valid concern, a “wise want”, as Mr. Horne calls it. Say for example, your teenage is upset because they feel that the adults around them are placing too many rules and restrictions on what they can and can’t do. Well, in that angst rests a desire to grow into their own person – to be a responsible, self-governing individual – and that is absolutely what they should want. It’s certainly what the parent should want for their teen. The challenge is to identify the wise want your teenager has so that you can build from there.

For each point in the LCLP process, Mr. Horne provides at least one memorable case study, which helps keep the principles firmly planted in your head. Taking them from your head to your heart will be between you and God, and will require a measure of humility on your part as you work to tear down whatever bitterness may reside in you. Indeed, the more I’ve thought about this book, the more applications I see in my relationships, not so much with young people as with adults. There are important principles you can take out of this book no matter where you are in your life and parenting experience.


Sky said...

very interesting... sounds like a good read. I am trying to prepare myself now for the teenagers we will have.
Most rule we make will carry through and the principals will be applicable throughout life.

Lisa Spence said...

Reading this one now...

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