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posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 09:48 PM
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I hope it's okay to start this thread if not I'm sorry but I'm a little overwhelmed and with as much talent and experience as there is here..........

I was asked to lead a 4-H club for troubled kids. I have help from 2 other adults I work with thank goodness. Now here is my issue I'm not sure how to deal with these kids. How do I reach a kid who has been hurt often brutally by the adults who should have been protecting them? Folks I'm not a mental health professional I'm just a Mom I only know how to love them.

My co-leaders and I know that often half of our group will be juvie and we know we can't save them all if fact we will be lucky to save one. For many the program that I'm working with is their last chance these kids are hard core.

Help!!!!!




posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 10:11 PM
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Beautiful question and a wonderful philanthropy. I believe it is important to first show them respect and sincerity. Look in their eyes and reveal no doubt that they are capable of the world. They will know the difference between sincerity, though some will look for your faults as they have never seen genuinely selfless people doing selfless things. So it is important to be your consistent self around them. Once you have gained their trust you will be able to feel them out. Ask questions about the way they see the world. Show them examples of people rising through oppression and difficulty to become great people. Give them the platform to speak their mind. There is a reason behind every action they perform and it would be paramount to find their motivations for those actions. That way you can relate and also redirection their perception if need be. Love is what opens people. If they push you away, which they will, single out those kids and show them extra attention. Your goals, as would mine, should be to redirect all of their doubts into positivity. You should help them unlearn what is holding them back. It is important to be patient at all times, your strength will help you solidify their trust in you. If nothing alters your positve demeanor (and they may try to push), you will eventually become a rock in their minds. That is when the real mentoring can begin. Good luck!

AAC



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 07:29 AM
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You're a mom and mom's love best. It's what we know unconditionally how to do. These kids are angry, hurt and scared but mostly what you are going to experience from them is anger because it's tougher and keeps them protected.
Show them consistency. If you are consistently kind, respectful and willing to listen and have them be heard you will break through.
They need someone to trust and that will take alot of time with some of them because they are so distrustful of adults.
Don't mother them per se but show you can be their equal for the time being.
That would be my approach anyway.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:29 AM
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Hi, Galloping--

Might I suggest, since it is 4-H --Horses? As you have already mentioned in another post elsewhere regarding your great interest in EAP, maybe this is your venue to explore that interest in a big way. Before you ask, no, you don't need to be a mental health professional to do this, but you do need their co-operation and some certification. The later can be had through 2 organizations; EAGALA, and Epona.

I have worked out a methodology of my own based in Equine Behavior and a lot of years with Horses that requires neither, really, so long as you don't use the word "therapy". I have seen Horses do some very amazing things with troubled Humans.

You can get hold of me anytime via U2U, and I'll be happy to help you in any way I can. This is wonderful work you are embarking on, and I absolutely agree with the others who have posted here.

Good luck!


[edit on 20-10-2006 by Ed Littlefox]



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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It's great to see someone who actually wants to put the time and effort into seeing what would actually help these kids.

I used to work as a counselor at a live in school for children with behavioral problems. Most of them were sent there by the state as kind of a last resort situation. They all had the same sort of mindset where it was "us against them". Whenever I spoke with these kids individualy I asked why they didn't respect a certain teacher as much as they did another teacher. The answer was always the same. The teacher they liked always showed the kids mutual respect.

What I've learned in dealing with situations like this:
- Show them you are in charge and not afraid to use your athority if needed
- Show them you WILL NOT abuse this athority
- Show them you would rather get along then fight... it's better for everyone
- Show them respect, and they will usually show you the same
- Be consistant. Most of these kids come from backround where nothing is stable. Be stable for them and don't be afraid to let them open up to you, and show them you actually do care.
- DON'T play favorites!!!! I've seen it time and time again, teachers who play favorites and lose the respect of all the other children, while the favorite child runs about thinking he can get away with anything because they are the favorite.


It's a pretty exhausting thing both physically and mentally, but very rewarding too. Hats off to you, and good luck!!!



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 11:14 AM
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You've only to ask, Sis...

My schedule may not permit me to help physically. I always listen...



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 12:22 PM
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People behave differently depending on the situation they're in. A kid who is shy or verbally abusive at school will behave differently in a group where the dynamics are different. Before starting, talk to school counselors and talk to police officers who work with these groups. Plan activities (the less free time the better you'll be), mix the groups and be sure that you have a good proportion of adults to kids.

And read! Read everything you can find on the subject! If you have the time to read academic papers, go to scholar.google.com... and look for papers on these topics.

A "troubled child" is made up of many components. They may have issues like ADHD or ADD or be unable to read. They may have visual problems or other learning problems. They may be high-functioning autistic. They may be schizophrenic. Many will be depressed.

Talk to the schools where they come from -- there will usually be one teacher there who has managed to reach the kid or who has insights about them. Ask them for their opinions.

And good luck, and do tell us about it! It's a WONDERFUL thing that you're doing, and something that's desperately needed! I agree with the advice on teaching them to care for animals (another good project is raising a puppy to become a guide dog or service dog.) Teaching them to train dogs to do something like walk on a leash, sit, stay, etc is also rewarding for the kid (and the person whose dog gets trained) is another good skill, and one that can translate into a job function.

(on a side track, there are dogs who do "athletic competitions" (can't think of what they're called, but someone will) -- learning how to teach dogs to do unusual things like run through a tunnel, weave around a pattern of stakes, run to a point and stop, etc... that's often a very interesting and useful project for a kid. Raises self esteem and can motivate them to learn to read and study more.)



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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What an amazing thing you a5re doing, and im sure you will touch more lifes than you think,

Show them that something is the world is good, Hope is a gift that can change so much,

make sure they know its ok to mess up you just have to learn from it,

Be true and they will see and feel that,

Im sure you will learn just as much from listening to them,

Good luck and i hope you will come back to share the storys with us,




posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by gallopinghordes
I'm not sure how to deal with these kids.

Speaking as one that was a troubled kid ....... maybe you should'nt. Especially that you already, obviously, have reservations about it. With many troubled kids, it is quite easy to, and even unknowingly, cause more harm to their emotions.

The part from another poster implying that because you are a mom, it will be ok ...... well, think about it, if all it took was a "mom's love" for these kids to be better off - do you think they would still be needing help, as surely you are not the first "mom" they have been in contact with?

While I do commend you for your want of caring, the aspect of you not having the knowledge and background to do so, to me, is a serious red flag concerning the welfare of these kids.

My curiosity plays in at this point .......... just what are the expectations, the job function if you will, being asked of you?

Misfit



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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I believe that alot of times, kids who act out, not only come from home environments that are pretty bad, but also these tend to be the smartest kids. That's why their home environments make no sense to them and they get angry alot, frustrated. It's important to engage these kids minds and help them find something that really winds their clock and helps them develop their minds. Find out what each kid is really passionate about and work withthem to find resources they can explore about this interest, the internet is a good place to start. Any time a kid expresses interest in something, pull on that thread and see where it leads, help the kid find out where it leads for them. If you can help them find out what their passions are and engage them, you've made lots of progress. They most likely have not had much attention from their parents/family or adults in general, so any positive attention you can give them is good. Always be truthful with them, treat them with respect and show that you are genuinely interested in their opinions, thoughts, etc.

And like Ed, I always think that working with horses, and animals in general helps anyone who is troubled. Animals can love unconditionally. If one of the kids is cruel to animals, that will be a big clue that this kid has very serious problems. Good luck and good for you for doing this work!
I'm giving you a WATS for your brave undertaking.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:14 PM
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Thanks to all of you I will take your advice to heart. Misfit I understand your feelings as well. But just so you know there is no pay involved with this. Most of these kids are in foster care right now. We will be doing the horse projects and I've been in contact with local people so they can learn how to do other things. Of course, my home will be open to them and I have to tell you I love them already; when you look in their eyes.......I don't know how to describe it they want to fulfill their dreams and I think they can. Tragically we lost one of our members; she is in juvie again and this time the state is putting her in a group home.
I'm so angry about that.

We are having a Halloween party for them so Seagull if you want to come and help we'd love to have you. These kids need strong male roll models dare I say despartely.

I will keep you all up to date. I'm looking forward to taking my kids to state just so they can prove to themselves they are winners.



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 02:20 PM
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gallopinghordes,

So in other words, kinda like a Big Sister thing?

Misfit



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 06:43 PM
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Big Sister thing no not really. 4-H is a program for kids from all walks of life. It started out as primarily agricultural in nature but has evolved in so much more. There are different projects ranging from livestock to fine arts. It is intended to build self-esteem and promote learning. One of the projects is leadership where kids learn how to be leaders, my job is to guide them and help them learn new things. For instance one of the kids wants to learn how to sew so I'll work with her one on one here in my home since I have a sewing machine. The kids also participate in community service projects that they choose and carry out could be a food drive or picking up litter or shoveling sidewalks and raking leaves for senior citizens. We will also do fund raisers because no kid is left out because of money. The club will foot the bill for member projects when they can't afford them. The kids also choose their projects I'm encouraging them to try something new in addition to horses. One of the officers I work with is an artist he has said he will teach them about throwing pots and drawing. All projects are entered in the local fair at the end of summer and blue ribbon winners are then sent to the State Fair. Also the kids have to do a demonstration or public speaking and once again the winners go to State Fair. So no Misfit not Big Sister nor even guidance counselor just an adult who gives a darn. I got involved this summer when I told the woman who runs the Eagala program "you know these kids need 4-H" so here we are.

[edit on 20-10-2006 by gallopinghordes]



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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My bad, sorry, should have been "Big Sister scenario".

At the end of your paragraph you say no, but the whole paragraph seemed just that, as you {volunteers} being big sisters for ones who need just such guidance ........ no?



In any scenario it may be ............ my best to ya ---- and more so - them !!!

Misfit



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 07:56 PM
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posted by gallopinghordes

I was asked to lead a 4-H club for troubled kids. I have help from 2 other adults I work with. Now here is my issue I'm not sure how to deal with these kids. How do I reach a kid who has been hurt often brutally by the adults who should have been protecting them? Folks I'm not a mental health professional I'm just a Mom I only know how to love them.

My co-leaders and I know that often half of our group will be juvenile delinquents and we know we can't save them all if fact we will be lucky to save one. For many the program that I'm working with is their last chance these kids are hard core. Help! [Edited by Don W]



1) Do not look for miracles.
2) The 3 leaders should devise a program specific for each child before you start
3) Never bullcrap the kids.
4) This is not a confessional so don’t admit what you don’t have to admit.
5) Every time you fall, get up and start over. With a smile on your face.
6) Do not look for miracles.



[edit on 10/20/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 10:05 PM
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gallopinghordes

I am at the point where I have more patience and "wisdom" than ever before in my life, but I would never be able to undertake what you are contemplating. It takes a special person to work with troubled kids, and at the risk of sounding sexist, I think that women are better suited for it, probably because of their maternal instinct.

You have the 4-H activities as an excellent communications partner. Once the kids find what they are most interested in, it will make everybody's life easier.

There has been some excellent advice offered here by other members. I, however, have no advice for you.

Best of luck, and know that blessings will follow you for reaching out to help others.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 11:50 AM
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Say when, and if possible, I'm there. Not sure whether or not I'd be a great male roll model or not given my temper, but I can certainly help out...

Say when...



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:02 PM
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Ok Seagull, this Friday for the Halloween party at the DCF's office downtown. Should be lots of fun with games and great food. I'm cooking and decorating cakes on Thursday. We could use help with the decortions and setting up games. I promise you'll fall in love with the kids.



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by YoBrandonRaps
It's great to see someone who actually wants to put the time and effort into seeing what would actually help these kids.

I used to work as a counselor at a live in school for children with behavioral problems.

What I've learned in dealing with situations like this:
- Show them you are in charge and not afraid to use your athority if needed
- Show them you WILL NOT abuse this athority
- Show them you would rather get along then fight... it's better for everyone
- Show them respect, and they will usually show you the same
- Be consistant. Most of these kids come from backround where nothing is stable. Be stable for them and don't be afraid to let them open up to you, and show them you actually do care.
- DON'T play favorites!!!! I've seen it time and time again, teachers who play favorites and lose the respect of all the other children, while the favorite child runs about thinking he can get away with anything because they are the favorite.




Best advice in the thread!


My wife did something similar for about 4 years.
These were troubled girls, who were also PREGNANT.

She followed this line of consistency, and authority.
There were 4 other housemothers, most of which let them get away with "whatever", because it was easier, but my wife was the most respected, and even a favorite of the girls. Not a "friend" mind you, but one who provided guidance, consolation, and stability.



[edit on 21-10-2006 by spacedoubt]



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 09:23 PM
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I'm not really sure what advice to offer, but I certainly wish you well in your endeavor.
These kids need people like you to step in and guide these young lives.

Kudos






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