Enid Blyton and the frustrated youth worker

My son is a big fan of the Famous Five books. I find the stories quite annoying but it is heartening how the most misguided ‘ruffian’ soon turns out to have a good heart really (after spending time with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy). I’m sitting here with a large glass of Talisker reflecting on my evening at the statutory youth club and wishing I could work a little Blyton-esque magic on some of the teenagers I’ve been working with. There’s a group of guys who I like BUT I just can’t get through to at all. All attempts towards bridge-building, intervention or even just conversation get lost in destructive, insecure and attention seeking behaviour. Ignoring the behaviour means that they will do worse until you do notice, challenging the behaviour creates a battle they thrive on.
There was lots of good stuff tonight at club but my continual inability to be able to work with this group of lads is making me feel like moving to Kirrin Island (with my Talisker obviously)

3 Replies to “Enid Blyton and the frustrated youth worker”

  1. Yousound very down 🙁 Please be reassured that you are doing good work at the Youth Club, and whilst you may not feel like it right now, you *are* making an impression on these young people, and *are* making a difference to a whole bunch of others.
    I can so empathise with you – as an ex-teacher (for reasons I won’t bore you with but not the standard ‘got fed up’ ones!) I do understand just how frustrating negative behaviour can be! But please, don’t be tempted to get drawn in to an antagonistic role with these youngsters.. they are crying out for attention and don’t really care whether it’s positive or negative.
    It’s a long, drawn out process and there are no easy answers or miracles that we can perform (tho’ He can work them if He chooses ); you’re on the right track. Ignore the negative behaviour, keep trying to engage when the behaviour is more appropriate, and try hard to find something positive to praise, even if it’s simply turning up or managing to string a sentance together without a swear word in it! Eventually they will see that they get the attention when they behave appropriately, and the attention is withdrawn when they don’t. They’ll get the message, and want to know what it is that’s different about YOU that gives you the patience to cope.
    Forgive me if I’ve patronised – I really don’t mean to; I only want to encourage you to continue with something you obviously have a passion and calling to do.

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