One-on-One sessions with a trusted parent
I have always believed that raising a child is not a 2 person job. One of the benefits that comes with running our group sessions on Sunday is the ability for kids to establish trust based relationships with other adults in the group.
We decided to capitalise on this so once every few weeks, a non-parent adult has a one-on-one session with the kids to have a quick chat on how things are with them. How they are feeling about the group? How can it be made more meaningful for them? Are they having any other issues they want to discuss?
As a parent this is a big relief for me because this leads to a few things:
- Opportunity to get an external perspective on how things as are with your child. Any new perspectives and insights are good.
- The child can possibly talk about things with the other adult if they feel some sort of barrier talking to their own parent about certain things.
- Builds confidence in the child of how to talk to adults.
- Builds a sense of community for the child.
- Children feel safer knowing that there are several competent adults watching out their back.
- When you as a parent talk to other kids, it can possibly give you insights into your own kid and what they might be going through.
However, there are a couple of things to watch-out for.
- Every household has their own rules and environment. Ensure that you are lined up with the parent on what you are going to suggest or advise. Parents must be on the same page, otherwise you might end up making the situation worse for the child with conflicting messages.
- Personally, I prefer to stay away from giving any answers to the kids myself. Ask more questions than provide answers. Help them derive their own conclusions, don’t interject unless those conclusions conflict with what you have learned in point # 1.
For me personally, the biggest validation comes when a child can trust me and I am sure this is true for many adults out there. I believe we can add very direct value to the lives of other parents and kids this way.
So far it has been going well, I will update the blog with more information as it comes through with this experiment.