We made the point in a previous practice hint (Number
48) that if we doníít let youngsters say how they think and feel ...
we may never know how they think and feel!
Some adults protest that "the youth may come to me at any time". But giving permission to kids to say what they think and feel isnít always as easy as saying "Itís OK to ... "
Making sure that we are experienced as approachable is an important practice skill.
Being busy or in a hurry is not conducive to easy talk. Our posture and facial expression must say "I am available, you have my attention."
The space we are in may be too public, noisy or distracting. We must at times be found in a space which conveys comfort and confidentiality.
Our relationship may not yet be familiar or trustworthy enough. We must have passed beyond the formal roles of relative strangers.
Any reactions of surprise or disapproval cause kids to clam up. We must show that we at least accept the feelings and ideas expressed.
Today in our practice we recognize that letting kids talk includes making it possible for them to talk.