My placement is nearly at an end, I only have two more sessions left to do. Sadly I don’t feel like I’m leaving on a high as things have kicked-off again big time!
The residential was so good with me feeling like we had at last broken through to a place of trust in terms of the way the young people viewed the team and the centre. I printed off all the photos and laminated them for a great diplay at the centre, a focal point for the shared memories and for the young people to see what they had achieved. HOWEVER the Easter holidays have seen several steps backwards! One incident I can’t write about and several I can, such as eggs being pushed through the door (sadly not chocolate!), posters ripped down, abusive behaviour and language towards the team.
I feel really frustrated. This is the first bunch of young people EVER I have not been able to build a relationship with. I will miss the team enormously and I feel very low about leaving without having made a difference to the young people who I really like despite everything.

5 Replies to “Aaaaarrrrrggghghghgh”

  1. A couple of cliches that, sometimes, it is helpful to be reminded of at times like these. Firstly, you are not the only influence on these young people. They are constantly bombarded with role models. All you can do is make sure you are a role model that gives them a different option of how to live and then hand them over to God as He is the only one who is with them all the time.
    Secondly, dont take it personally. They are young people trying to explore every aspect of their personality. The fact that this exploration gets aimed at you just means you were there. This is a really cool thing cos most adults arent.
    Finally, use it as a learning experience. If at all possible discuss with the young people that their actions made you feel hurt, frustrated etc. They may not seem to take it in but if they dont get to explore how every action has an equal and opposite reaction how will they ever find out.

  2. K
    Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 One of the real frustrations for me though is that it has been impossible to discuss events with these young people. Up until now I’ve always been able to build a relationship with young people that enables discussion and conversation. The group I’m working with will not enter in to conversation or discussion HOWEVER it is attempted. I’ve tried every idea I’ve used/seen/read/experienced in the last twenty years.
    There mistrust of adults and their insecurity is a barrier that 12 months of work has not breached YET!
    I’m not taking it personally but want so much for these young people to grow and develop AND to encounter opportunity.

  3. I just want to encourage you because what you are doing does make a difference and that everything you have done has eternal consequences. Those young people may not realise all that you have done for them but from my experiences I know that they will look back and remember you for your faith, your commitment and your dedication to their lives. I understand that when you invest into other people that it can hurt when they don’t see how important they are to you but you know and that is all that matters. Keep on going and be encouraged 🙂

  4. I completely understand your frustrations. Having worked with young offenders in secure environments and looked after children and young people for a number of years now I am constantly astounded with the lack of, or just inappropriate, interpersonal and emotional skills.
    The challenge I find is how to enable them to build the foundations of these skills which most people do as a young child without the activities being babyish.
    Also accepting that they have built up 13+ years of wall with no foundation and the bit of foundation I am trying to put in may upset their delicate balancing act and that may get a dramatic reaction that I dont understand.

  5. When I read through this, I sort of felt like this is probably how God feels about most of humanity, quite a bit of the time. You’re a living object lesson in unconditional love. Not a comfortable place, but the company is good. Bless you, friend.

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