INTERNATIONAL CHILD AND YOUTH CARE NETWORK
19 APRIL 2000
LISTENING TO THE KIDS
"Help them feel like they
Mary Beth Hewitt wrote about belonging in Attachment
and Belonging, (Volume 7.3, 1998, of Reclaiming Children and Youth:
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems.)
the issue] She offers us the opportunity to listen to what
youngsters say — and thus to reflect on our own practice.
In her article she writes:
a number of students how they knew that they belonged to a group (be it in our
out of school). The following are some of the responses that I received, and I
was struck by their similarities:"
- They know my name.
- They spell my name right.
- They ask me what I want to be called.
- They take time to talk to me.
- They recognize my moods.
- They listen to me. They smile at me.
- They take an interest in what's important to me. They ask
me to help.
- They let me help.
- They recognize when I'm gone and welcome me when I retum.
- They share my ideas with others [e.g., John had a good idea
for ... ].
- They are honest with me.
- They include me.
- They appreciate my contributions.
- They don't change what I've done without asking me first.
- When they ask for my opinion, they incorporate it.
- They welcome me back no matter what. They may not like what
I did, but they don't hold it against me.
- They trust me.
- They can disagree without making me feel "put