When things aren’t going the way we want them to, how should we respond ? an inter-active exercise

Date Posted: Friday, 2 February 2007


One of the problems for those who work in a helping role with children and young people is how to respond to them when things are not quite going to plan. Below are six different responses to the same situation – the kind of situation which I know many of my colleagues will have faced. I wondered if anyone would like to comment on these responses using the comment button at the end of this particular entry or by e mailing me at charlessharpe@dsl.pipex.com. I will publish them.
1. I guess Dave will take his time. It’s no use pressuring him. When he’s ready he’ll ask me for a keywork session. Until then I’ll just let him be
2. On 4 occasions Dave has refused to speak to me and he has also refused to attend his keywork sessions. It is evident from this that David is in denial of his emotional difficulties and will require more sophisticated intervention than I can give him.
3. Dave has not been coming to his keywork sessions and sometimes he won’t speak to me. I think I need to find out if his difficulty is with me or if it is something else.


4. When you think of how far my colleagues and I have gone to accommodate him and to understand his problems, his not attending his keywork sessions is a real slap in the face. Horses and water come to mind here.


5. It feels like it’s make or break time for Dave and me. We were all right during the honeymoon period but it’s the same old story we don’t have a chance against the influence of the peer group or for that matter the computer game.


6. He has blatantly ignored me and he kicks off when I mention keywork sessions. He needs to appreciate my efforts to support him, but on balance I don’t see how he will be able to do that.
Charles Sharpe 2006.

©  goodenoughcaring.com and Charles Sharpe



Comments received

AR writes,

Why does Dave have to do all the work isn’t it hard enough for him? How about the key worker making use of any time spent with him to build a relationship be there for him, let him know that no matter what you are there for him – don’t give up before you have begun. Be creative and look at ways to engage with him initially it should all come from you.

Maggie Walker writes,

I guess I understand where some of the responses come from. It’s easy to feel like that but they are extreme. I’d like to think my response would be closest to the first response but it could be seen as too laid back. Maybe I’m really somewhere between the first response and the third one.