Monday, October 22, 2012

Youth trust youth workers that trust them

You're not superman or wonder woman.  At least I'm assuming that to be the case.  Even if you were, I've read enough comic books to know that they have some seriously bad days.  I do to.

Traditionally the early fall is a bit back for us as we slowly get involved in the new pace of life of the students around us.  This year however we have been given so many opportunities that we have hit the ground running at about 350 Miles Per Hour.  They are good things, and I love thinking about all the possibilities, but at the same time - I feel like I can't keep up the pace.  Almost as if my feet are stuck in concrete.

Actually one of the youth work tools we use is called a "gingerbread" man - which helps us use art as a means of getting youth to communicate their emotions.  Here is the one I drew at the beginning of the month.

As you can see my head is spinning from all the ideas that I have.  My hair and my clothes are unkempt as I have had little time to care for myself and I feel like my feel are trapped in concrete.  I simply felt like I couldn't keep up.

For some of us, we are tempted never to tell young people when we are having a rough time, we want to appear professional, or that we have it all together.  We want them to have a good role model after all.

However good our intentions, we may be inadvertently alienating kids who don't have a concept of a life without problems.

We can show our respect for them as well as giving them an example of how to cope with our issues in healthy ways by allowing them an idea of what happens in our own heads.

Kids don't need to know all the details of hardships - some of those things may not be helpful, but they it is better, in my opinion to share something rather than nothing.  You never know, in trusting them with your life they may be more inclined to trust you with theirs.  And they may be just the person to guide you in a hardship right when you need someone.
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