Welcome to the month of December! As we approach the holiday season, we frontliners are still grinding: thinking, reflecting, and finding ways to continue to build strong relationship ties with our young people.
One way is to acknowledge a young person’s birthday, upcoming graduation, recital, and/ or making it the next round to a sports tournament.
It is not because it requires further investigation. Now we are not only talking about finding out about an upcoming event but how can we use the occasion as a motivator or mood changer.
I have a student who had a birthday and because we had a respectful relationship, I told her that I will celebrate her birthday with her by inviting her to my place for dinner and cake. ((PLEASE NOTE- THIS IS EASIER TO DO IN SMALL COMMUNITIES AND MY JOB POSITION IS NOT STRICT TO NOT ALLOW STUDENTS IN THE HOME))
Anyways, it was definitely a conversation piece that turned into excitement. When we had special little birthday celebration, she mentioned that it really meant a lot to her that I thought to remember her birthday and celebrate it with her.
It adds value at the end of the day. It allowed me to know another piece of her identity so I would be able to add it to her overall self.
We do not need to complicate things when we try to build a relationship with the young person. Sometimes, we need to ask more simple questions: When is your birthday? How many siblings do you have? What is your favourite sport? T.V Show? Who is your best friend? etc….
These questions or events might be the gateway to more stories told and experiences had. Ask and Listen.
Thanks for reading 🙂