It's so simple, yet so powerful. It's the one conversational tool I use every single day, with every single client I work with and I use it at home with my kids too. It'll take you from misunderstandings and frustration to real dialogue quicker than anything else. Find out now! …
On the importance of not getting all caught up in our expertise, superior knowledge or experience and forgetting to do the most important thing of all with our troubled teens- listening.
On why it is so important to let our troubled teens know that they are capable of change, by substituting their sense of personal lack or deficiency to one of being enough.
Why are some teens so darn rude? Why can they not just do as they are told without arguing? Without being disrespectful? It may have to do with a hidden paradox that has within it the clues to help us get them to lose the rude. Find out more! …
You think you know. You think you know what’s going on in my head, in my life, in my everything. Why I blow up in anger, or why I’m withdrawn, why I use coke, why I skip school, why I’m silent when you essentially ask me WTF? God you probably think you know why I put jam on my toast. You think you know. Well you don’t. Whether you have studied for five years, whether you have worked with troubled kids for ten, whether you have lived with me for fifteen, I have to tell you that you do not know. Why? Because when you over-rely on what you know, you do not rely on what I know. What I know of my existence, what I have experienced, the thoughts and emotions that whirl around inside me. You might see outward manifestations of all of that, you might see my dysfunction, but you do not know my inner world. The biggest tell-tale for me that you do not know is when you do not ask. It is when you tell me what I feel. It is when you tell me why I am doing what I’m doing and punish me…
What happens when we stop thinking we are an expert when we meet with our teens? What happens when we stop thinking we know it all? What happens when we open our hearts, minds and start really listening?
So this is a confession about my very real struggle to not cry at any Christmas event with children performing or singing. It's ridiculous. It's about understanding my behaviour and realising it's all about children's potential and how we need to still see it in our troubled teens.
It’s all your fault. All your f’in fault. You can’t just leave me alone, leave me to do my thing can you? You have to meddle, stick your nose in where it’s not wanted. And I hate you for it. I absolutely bloody hate you for it. Everyone’s at it. You’re at it, teachers are at it, social workers, doctors, nurses, therapists, care home workers, you’re all in it together making my life a flippin’ living hell. If you’d just leave me, my family, my mates alone I’d be just fine. Thinking you know better about me and my life than I do, f’in cheek. I hate you, you hate me. Well this is going to work well isn’t it?
Another bare room. Another caseworker. Another foster carer. Another care home. Another secure unit. Another hostel. Just another, another, another. Cos I am just A.N. Other. Nothing special, nothing worth caring about, nothing worth taking much notice of, except when you want to get me to do something, or stop doing something. Either way it’s about what you want and not much to do with me. I don’t really figure in the equation. I’m just A.N. Other. Apparently suited to being shoved around from pillar to post. So as I live my name and move on to another something, I add my own ‘another’. Another hurt to add to my chest of disappointment, of heartbreak. Of feeling that I only get what I deserve. Of feeling like a nobody and that nobody cares. And as my chest gets fuller, my heart, my hope gets emptier and emptier.
Go away. Just leave me alone. No, I don’t want to be here. You’re going to make me think about myself, interrogate myself, question my decisions, my ‘consequential thinking’ or lack of it. My actions are going to be scrutinised and you’re going to tell me how I could have done it better. Just go away, go away… ‘Why the opposition?’, you ask, ‘What’s the problem? I’m just trying to help you make better decisions for yourself. You’ll find it makes life easier for you, less complicated, less chaotic.’ No, I’m having none of it. You’re just having a go, picking at me, making me feel more crap than I do already. No thanks, no f’in thanks. You see, when you ask me to think about what I do and about my decisions, my actions, that’s not what you’re really asking. Well at least as far as I see it. You’re not asking me to reassess what I’ve done, you’re asking me to reassess who I am. You’re not questioning my choices, you’re questioning the very essence of me. If my decisions are bad, then I am bad. And I don’t want to look at that reflection in the mirror.
I’m a label, a sticker, a scrawl on a file A person lost in the paper mile That runs from birth to right here now You know me but you don’t and I’ll tell you how My name spells trouble, it’s written ahead In the assessments, the reports, the letters you’ve read You know my circumstance, my life, my woe But any deeper you just won’t go
Did you knock on my door? Did you want to see? Or was the sterile incomplete description in my report enough for you? Or what your colleague told you over the kettle? Or what my social worker told you over the phone? You want to see what my life is like. You ask me in your appointment room, in the cafe or in detention, to tell you what life at home is like. But why should I bother to tell you? Do you really want to see? Your words tell me you don’t cos if you really wanted to know, you wouldn’t ask, you’d come and see.