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Who's at my door and why should I let you in?

Who's at my door and why should I let you in?

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Who's at my door and why should I let you in?

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  1. Who's at my door and why should I let you in? Challenges and strategies to forming relationships with difficult to reach kids Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

  2. The Four Spheres of a Child’s Life Biology Family CHILD Society Psychology

  3. Hardwired Genetics Biology Pre-natal care Environmental toxins

  4. Hardwired and Softwired Temperament Personality Intelligence Cognitive activity Psychology Behaviour Mood - Affect Self-Esteem

  5. Within or Beyond One’s Control? Community School Friends Society Extracurricular activities Religion Internet

  6. Where Life is First Learned Intact Blended Single parent Adopted Step Family Rules, routines Conflict management Emotional expression Nurturance

  7. Psychosocial development • Our progress through each stage of development is in part determined by our success, or lack of success, in all the previous stages. Eric Erikson and the epigenetic principle.

  8. We evolve through social interaction • Socialization imprints on personality and our personality impacts on others. Their reaction to our personality then determines our socialization… and so on.

  9. Walk a mile in their shoes… Formative experiences teach us how to interact with the world.

  10. We are determined by our formative experiences I thought the whole world was just like me, until we moved away.. Then I learned I was different.

  11. 0 – 1 year old What’s Going on Developmentally? The time of attachment

  12. 2 – 4 Year Olds What’s Going on Developmentally? Rapprochement – the time to venture forth…

  13. 5 – 12 Year Olds What’s Going on Developmentally? Cognitive explosion and moral development

  14. Teen Boys and Girls What’s Going on Developmentally? Social rapprochement and developing of intimate relationships

  15. Harmful Events • Neglect • Emotional abuse • Psychological abuse • Physical abuse • Sexual abuse • Intra-familial vs. Extra-familial • Witnessing domestic violence • Loss

  16. Harmful Events Affect Behaviour • Behavioral, social, and emotional problems • higher levels of aggression, anger, hostility, oppositional behavior, and disobedience; fear, anxiety, withdrawal, and depression; poor peer, sibling, and social relationships; low self-esteem.

  17. It hurts them… • Cognitive and attitudinal problems • lower cognitive functioning, poor school performance, lack of conflict resolution skills, limited problem-solving skills, acceptance of violent behaviors and attitudes, belief in rigid gender stereotypes and male privilege.

  18. …and can last a lifetime. • Long-term problems • During childhood, harmful events can disrupt the child’s ability to form meaningful attachments. This in turn affects relationships with others who may be poised to help. • Higher levels of adult depression and trauma symptoms, increased tolerance for and use of violence in adult relationships

  19. Signs of Disturbance Anxiety and Depression A feeling associated with fear or dread for an negatively anticipated outcome. A feeling associated with a of loss. The loss can be tangible or psychological.

  20. Signs of Disturbance • Missed school or poor school performance • Changes in eating and sleeping habits • Withdrawal from friends and activities once enjoyed • Persistent sadness and hopelessness • Problems with authority • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness • Poor self-esteem or guilt • Overreaction to criticism • Frequent physical complaints, such as headaches and stomachaches • Anger and rage • Lack of enthusiasm, low energy or motivation • Drug and/or alcohol abuse • Thoughts of death or suicide

  21. Signs of Disturbance Other issues affecting behaviour: • ADD/ADHD • Learning differences • Language and auditory processing disorders • Attachment difficulties

  22. The World of the Parent(s) • Perhaps the same as for the child • Domestic violence? • Drug/Alcohol dependency • Depression / Anxiety • Poor self esteem • Guilt? Jealousy? Fear? • Immigration issues if from another country • Custody/access issues • Money

  23. Worker Characteristics • Motivation • School requirement – volunteer hours • Righting a personal past wrong • Altruism / charity / good deed

  24. Take one part child, one part parent and one part worker… Blend. There is AWAYS more than just you and the child involved in EVERY meeting or interaction: • Child and their history and world • Parent(s) and their history and world • Mentor and their history and world • Agency with rules, expectations and responsibilities

  25. Rules, Expectations and Responsibilities • Confidentiality • Child protection • Reports • …and?

  26. RESPECT • Polite expressions of consideration or deference • Willingness to show consideration or appreciation • To avoid violation of or interference with

  27. Support without interfering - boundaries • Active listening • Reflecting the message • Avoidance of Argument • Avoidance of Control • Unconditional positive regard • Willingness for another to be separate Carl Rogers – The Person-Centred Relationship

  28. Structure/Routine • Check in with parent before and after • Check in with child – tune in – before and after • Have a regular format - a beginning and an end

  29. Pace • Rapport is a byproduct of relationship building over time • The turtle vs. the hare • The goal is the relationship – not the fun. • Fun is a tool for building the relationship, not an end in itself!

  30. Beginnings • There is no reason to expect trust • Trust is earned over time • Trust is built as a byproduct of decency, manners, appropriate behaviour and BEING ON TIME – EVERYTIME. • Trust is also a function of permission – approval from the parent for the child’s activity!

  31. Endings • May mirror past losses • May seek to avoid with poor behaviour • Is best when by mutual consent • Transition vs. loss

  32. Managing Behaviour How you respond will determine what you get back. Here’s how it all works…

  33. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE The story of the two dogs… The dog that wins is the one your feed. Which dog do you feed?

  34. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE Set Up For Success Always have children's attention when talking and give them all the information necessary to do what is expected, appropriate to their level of understanding.

  35. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE The Power Of Feedback Provide the right information so children know what you want. Provide feedback to let children know they are on the right track to help the desired behaviour get repeated.

  36. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE Key Ingredients to Self Esteem • Valuing • Competency • Structure. • Doing good deeds

  37. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE Praise And Self Esteem Praise is necessary but not sufficient. To facilitate healthy self-esteem provide generous amounts of valuing, opportunities to develop competency, opportunities for doing good deeds, and structure.

  38. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE Negotiating Negotiating offers a process where both sides can come away winners. Sometimes parents have to remember to let go a little.

  39. RAISING KIDS WITHOUTRAISING CANE You are always on! Be aware of how you are interacting while in the company of children. Children are more aware than we sometimes realize. Children will always learn more from what we do than what we say. We call this… Role Modelling.

  40. Who's at my door and why should I let you in? I am at your door and I am here to be your mentor –a partner in your development. I will respect our differences, work to gain your trust and through activities and our time together, present myself as a positive role model.

  41. Who's at my door and why should I let you in? Challenges and strategies to forming relationships with difficult to reach kids Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW