Life’s pathways and rarely smooth.

I have been off grid for a bit. I needed a bit of time to reflect on where I was and if I felt I was on the right path to my own personal goal. In my job role I find the confines of working for a local authority challenging.

Young people seldom fit into a box, their thought patterns are often erratic and not easy to pre read. Their actions and lack of understanding when it comes to consequences can be beyond frustrating. That’s always the first hurdle. But that I manage, I listen to what they are not saying rather than what they are. Inwardly, I expected the unexpected and always prepare for the worst possible outcome. Outwardly I show empathy , I give time and understanding and attempt to guide towards wiser choices through positive reinforcements and building self belief.

For the young people I work with, on the whole this approach is successful. My challengers really start when it comes to the red tape. I get all the safeguarding, risk assessments , consent forms. That side, I see the purpose and need for. But I struggle with the indecision, the length of time and work that is needed for a yes/ no answer. It would seem there is always a BUT! 😔

It’s not that I am inpatient, but that the young people I work with are. They change their minds more often than their socks (FACT). If they / I have spent the time planning, consultations to get their voice. To then have yet more barriers put in your way it is soul destroying.

Can I change it? I honestly don’t think so, can I find a way to live with it? Right now I have no idea, a huge part of me is being drawn towards the greener grass on the other side ( voluntary sector). But my age and life experience tells me that it rarely is as green as you see it from over he fence. 😔

I love my job role, I love the young people I work with and the difference I make in their lives. Good bad and indifferent, but I am questioning if my passion can be contained in the restrictions of statuary. I am battling with the fall out of my own ACE’s as a child.

I am working on it, the immediate team around me are just an amazing team, without whom I would likely already made my decisions.

I understand it is my challenge, I understand the need for so much security around safe practice and I know it is my failings to work within these restrictions that hundreds of thousands of other people do every day.

My dilemma is is my own ethics and ways of working where the focus is on the child’s needs and welfare. I am trying to learn to accept that actually the focus is on the figures at the end of the day 😔. That is not right in my mind.

Let’s see where the journey takes us 😊

Simplist is bestest

Yes I can hear all you academics cry at my use of the English language but this is a quote from a wonderful story book about a shaman knowl , He lives a simple life in a forest, where he forages for food, he has no need of money or social media, he has no knowledge of depression or abuse.

How many of you would like to live that life ? I would without question.

But I have just read a very simple but power article that explains in a wonderful way why the young people we work with struggle to accept our support and care. Why they would rather push us away.

Have a read, it’s only short.

Let me know what you think

How much difference understanding behaviours can make.

Things have been a bit tuff the last few days, work has been particularly challenging. But it has taught me a great deal about myself.

Sadly I have also learnt about how the system is failing the people in crisis who need it.

I will not dwell in the negatives of the situation they are what they are, there is nothing I can do to change what is past.

I do however want to dwell on the positivity and wonderful approach of two police officers I had the pleasure to work along side this week.

There attitude and understanding of behaviours in a young person really did make the difference between life and potentially death 😔.

Had this call been answered by different officers with little or no understanding of trauma and. Trauma related behaviours the end to this situation could be very different.

I feel even more determined now to make sure every professional who works with not just children but the public in general need to be aware of ACE’s and how to use a trauma aware approach instead of the WHATS WRONG WITH YOU. one.

Take this with you, be kind and always look at behaviours as communication, but remember the child may not always communicate in a positive manner but it is still communication x.

Keep believing

Over the weekend I had a wonderful message from a young man who used to come to the youth club I worked in. He pushed me beyond at times but something always told me that inside when you took away the gansta attitude and the bravado he was a good soul. The message was letting me know he was starting college this morning and he had an interview on Thursday for an apprenticeship. I am

So proud, I never gave up believing in him and he has despite not just falling off but loosing the rails completely made it back and is doing amazing.

This got me thinking, we keep believing, we keep printing their self worth but it is rare we see the changes when they are still young, we have to believe and we have to be patient. Our roll is life changing but not in a. Bells and whistles kinda way but our support, belief and guidance in a child allows them to become a positive young adult. Hang on in there and just keep believing they can come good. I have proof 😉

The battle is our minds idea of safe.

Understanding how our minds work as an adult can be confusing. Imagine not having the life experience to make sense of some of things our minds tell us ?

Let me give you an example. I am trying (I use the word loosely) to loose the lbs.

I have health issues but have found with a few Alterations to my bike I can ride.

But I get comfortable with my set route, so to try and push me physically I have to battle with my mind that says firstly why? Why do you need to go out and sweat and hurt and on occasion cry. When I manage to over come the WHY, my mind then tells me to do the safe route, the flat one that I am so familiar With.

It’s what I know. For my mind it’s a comfort.

Today I pushed my mind and left the comfort of my safe route. I took a new route which I totally underestimated. It hurt, it had more climbs than I have ever done. At one point I was ready to stop at a car garage and buy a banger just to get me home!

But I battled with my mind and my body and pushed myself outside of safe.

But it hurts.

Transfer this understanding into a different setting. You are 12 you have grown up around chaos, to you screaming, shouting, hitting and abuse is your safe! It’s what you know. So to come across a person who wants to take you away from your safe is scary, Our minds fight it. You understand your safe, you have learnt how to manage your safe. Outside of this is more scary than a punch or hearing mum and dad scream for hours on end at each other.

So when we come into children’s lives offering them love,care and our idea

Of safety. Don’t be deterred when they push you away. They are scared. That is not their safe.

As a footnote I will add our brains really do like to play games 🤯 I am home, showered and fed. And I have been sat here trying to arrange my work life so I can go and do the ride that just near killed me again!! We are

Constantly learning. So never be afraid to ask why ? X x

Positive mental attitude

Does that seem like a bit of a old saying to anyone else?

Growing up I remember my mum saying it a lot, speaking about how it was what kept her from getting low during her illness. And I guess it stuck. I suffer with chronic pain, and recently join a local Facebook group, after reading the post for a week or so I can feel myself getting down. This is not to the detriment of the posts made, it is a safe place for people who battle pain 24/7-365 days a year to moan and let of steam. Which I understand is just as important.

But for me I have a different outlook to life and this has supported me well in my role working with children.

I am most definitely a glass half full kinda lass, and while I read posts about how people have ONLY managed this or that today, my mind say , I DID this or that today.

No matter how big or small our achievements may seem to others, it is how it feel to us that makes the difference. So using the words. I ONLY, indicates we failed in some way. Using the words I DID recognises that we achieved something.

When we work with children, not just the ACE’s children but all of them. By simply changing the language we use can have a massive impact on how they feel about themselves.

Try it for a day/week . Be mindful Of how you say things, try to. Write down 3 positives from every day. Do this for a week and come back and tell me how it has made a difference to you.

I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

That first step …

Doing the things we don’t like or struggle to do can be a battle in our minds way before the task even begins. I am battling with my weight, I procrastinate, clean up! Seriously my mind suggest all sorts of things I should do before getting on my trainers and taking the peddle iron out. That first step is so hard. I am sure you have all experienced that feeling.

Now think about that in a child who does not have the understanding we do that it’s our brain playing tricks, image that child feeling anxious about walking into the school gates knowing even before the bell goes someone will of hurt his body or his heart. Try thinking about the fight going on in their head and understand that sometimes running away and hiding either physically or mentally withdrawing them self’s into their own centre where they have control is their best option

Another child may react by putting on a show, “acting cocky” as I have heard from teachers, Maybe. Maybe he was just a loud troublesome young man. Or may be was putting up a front to stop anyone seeing the frightened anxious young man.

Behaviours it seems are early showing the true feeling or emotions. Or at least they are showing them but in an unregulated manner.

Next time you come across that withdrawn child or the one your ready to send out of the room. Try looking behind the behaviour to give you a better understanding on how to manage it.

Monday morning again 😐

Here we are again, the dreaded Sunday night that means after this sleep it’s MONDAY morning 🙈🙈🙈. For most of us adults that means the grind starts again, the pressures of work start to build up.

However, take a minute to stop and think about the child that is actually preying for that Monday morning, knowing when they wake up, they can get themselves up and go to school, at school they can feel safe, no one if going to burst into their room drunk, no one is going to scold them with a belt or a hand. They will get fed at lunch time, which maybe the only hot food they have had since last Friday. 😔.

This is the child we would love to think is a rarity, a special case but this is reality as more parents struggle with no jobs, no money coming in, they turn to drugs or drink to numb the feelings of failure. We all know the ending to this story 😔.

But remember if you can understand that child. When they zone out in class, they are exhausted, they are trying as hard as they can. Let them know you understand, let them know it’s ok and they are safe, even if it is only in them few precious they are at school, away from the chaos and mayhem they endure in their “home”.

Be aware. You can change a child’s life by just understanding and listening, no matter if you can give the 2 hours a week or 7 hours a day. As long as you can stay that one constant in their life who listens, who understands their behaviour is not because they are bad.

Be that person that child remembers as a child who changed their life for the better. Xx❤️

Lightbulb moment!

So what are Adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) ?

In the ACE’s study these were categorised to give a measurable outcome in the study. Below from a great web site Aces to High, you will find the categories and the ACE’s score test. I urge you to have a look and think about your own childhood.

I would like to pre warn you that you may have a bit of a lightbulb moment when you count up the results. I did!!

It gave me an explanation to so many things I thought were all my fault. That had bashed my self esteem and self belief for many years. It did not give me an excuse but it did give the explanation.

At my Old age 🙄. I have found my own ways to. Manage and adapt to my own insecurities and effects of ACE’s. But it’s been hard. And a long road.

So by understanding this if we can ideally stop / reduce ACE’s occurring in the first place or at minimum help a child to understand that it’s not always there fault!

I say always because as humans we like to blame everyone but ourself, ACE’s is not a get out of jail free card, but understanding it can mean from an earlier age a child can learn there own coping strategies.

Anyway have a look and take the test. Please feel free to message me if you need to talk about your results or you need support to understand the test.

Got Your ACE Score?

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