Lessons on Relationships, Connection and Supporting Behaviour
This post is based on the book The Art of Kid Whispering by Jamie Chambers. Most address outward behavior in conflicted youth. To help, grasp their inner thoughts, feelings. This book aids counselors, parents, teachers, and youth workers connecting with challenging young people. Authors explain “Kid Whispering” and key assumptions, guide readers to comprehend and engage youth better. Mastering the art of kid whispering, according to the book, involves the development and application of four essential skills: engaging, clarifying, deciphering, and responding. Each of these skills has unique characteristics and roles in fostering better connections in our relationships with children, understanding their experiences, and guiding them to grow.
Engaging: The First Essential Skill
Engaging is our capacity to connect with another person and understand their interests. As kid whisperers, our first task is to present ourselves as trustworthy individuals to children, allowing them the space to see us as approachable and reliable adults. This process of engagement is crucial in building trust. When children feel engaged, they are more willing to open up and talk about the things that matter most to them. It’s important to note that engagement is an acquirable skill ↗. It requires practice and time, but the rewards are immense. Engagement is about creating a safe, caring connection with a young person. Maintaining this relationship is crucial for sustaining engagement.
Clarifying: The Second Essential Skill
The next skill, clarifying, plays a pivotal role in the engagement process. To engage effectively with children, we must strive to understand them deeply. This understanding comes from listening closely to their stories, asking thoughtful questions, and showing genuine interest in their experiences. Kid whisperers understand that this process of recalling memories and clarifying them can take time and patience, and they’re willing to invest both in the interest of the child’s wellbeing.
Deciphering: The Third Essential Skill
Deciphering is the process of interpreting the child’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings. It’s an extension of the clarifying process, where the kid whisperer uses their understanding of the child to decode the meanings and intentions behind their words and actions. Engaging with Kids in this way helps them think through their experiences and intentions, guiding them towards self-insight and growth.
Responding: The Fourth Essential Skill
The final skill, responding, involves active listening, questioning, and challenging kids to grow and change. Responding skills are essential in addressing behaviour symptoms in children. By involving kids and encouraging them to reach a specific standard, their likelihood of responding positively increases. These skills involve creating challenges, understanding their needs, and providing support. Children are more likely to respond when they feel listened to and understood. A real-life example is provided where engaging with a child helped uncover the underlying issues. This process of engagement, clarification, deciphering, and response led to a dramatic improvement in the child’s behaviour.
The art of the kid whisperer is a complex but immensely rewarding process. It involves a delicate balance of engagement, clarification, deciphering, and responding. But the ultimate reward is a strong, positive, and impactful relationship with the children we interact with, and the opportunity to guide them towards a healthier, happier future.