Welcome to this BlogSpot where we feature BACP Accredited Child Therapist Sacha Jackson sharing her experiences of working with young people and encourages adults to stop, talk and communicate with the children in their lives.
I wanted to talk about ‘talking to kids’, as its been a constant mantra running through my head over many years of working with children and young people. I have frequently observed, or felt immense communication disconnects between the children I work with and their families or wider community relationships. This lack of open and expressive communication not only magnifies the child’s issues, but in some cases actually becomes the very cause or need for therapy.
As a Counsellor who has worked continuously with young people for almost 12 years, I feel the varying degrees and layers our communication in families has often dictates our emotional ability to communicate our needs effectively outside of the family.
As adults, we try so hard to demonstrate a perfect and possibly unrealistic version of ourselves for our young people. This is completely natural and is not a negative, however, we rarely counterbalance this with the reality of failure and the limits to our control. Unfortunately, children and young people learn levels of what they deem to be acceptable emotions through these unrealistic portrayals of ourselves and frequently from literal examples too, e.g boys don’t cry etc.
Obviously, I talk of a depth that can be developed over time and appropriate to age, offering a realness and most importantly acceptance. Offering acceptance to young people opens their world to yours and likewise a significant adult can gain so much from entering the youthful perspective.
I guess what I’ve been talking about is our ability to talk to our young people through our actions and behaviour as well as our language. We as adults can hold back so much of ourselves when interacting with the younger generations, when they are the most receptive to what we have to share. I called this article “let’s talk” when it really means, let’s just communicate, verbal, non-verbal, with music, with art, with whatever it takes to really know each other better, minimises the confusion and hurt that is so often unintentional.
As far as is possible, I am always myself with the young people I see, and this has enabled me to develop beautifully open and honest relationships with children who do not always feel they can open up to an adult ‘who wouldn’t understand’. I encourage other adults, parents, caregivers to do the same, just be yourself, show yourself and even your emotions too. In fact there is little point in hiding away behind that image you want to portray, because even when you think you are hiding your emotions kids will still know, they can always spot in-authenticity a mile off!
If you would like to discuss communication issues with a young person in your life and would like the support of a trained professional like Sacha, please contact us today to discuss your needs and we will put you in touch with a therapist to suit your families needs.
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